Shared Medical Appointments

Healthcare providers face increasing pressure to meet the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) triple aim: improve both the health of populations and patients’ experience of care (including quality and satisfaction) while reducing the per capita cost of care. Additionally, providers are tasked with reporting on the quality of the care that they provide via federal programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Shared medical appointments (SMA), which allow providers to provide medical care in a group setting, are one tool that providers can utilize to help them improve outcomes for their patients while improving patient, staff, and provider satisfaction. SMAs were developed in the 1990’s and are an innovative model for providing quality chronic disease education and promoting the self-management of chronic disease. Self-management is an integral part of care and many patients must perform multiple self-management activities on a regular basis to help prevent poor outcomes. The goal of SMAs is to provide the educational component of medical appointments with a group of patients, instead of repeating the same material over and over on a one-on-one basis. SMAs support an interdisciplinary team approach in providing care and educating the patient.

Click on the image below to see how Dr. Sanjay Batish, a primary care physician in Wilmington, North Carolina, implemented diabetes-focused SMAs in his practice.

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Video funded through a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust