Shared Medical Appointments-How to Utilize SMA's in Your Practice
How to conduct a shared medical appointment
For over 10 years, Cleveland Clinic has been offering shared medical appointments and 85% of those who have tried them want to return.
Trying to schedule an appointment for your physical exam can be frustrating these days. It is becoming more and more difficult to get an appointment when you need it. When you finally do arrive, the waiting rooms can seem endless. To make matters worse, it never fails that you remember all the questions you wanted to ask as soon as you get back home.
Being a doctor can be frustrating as well. It's frustrating to not be able to spend the time getting to really know each other. It's frustrating to see a completely booked schedule, when there are patients that are past due for an exam. Wouldn't it be great to bypass the waiting room, spend 90 minutes with each other, and receive more information and support than ever before?
With over 15 SMA's now implemented, from women's health to weight loss, we offer you a tour of our different SMA's at www.clevelandclinic.org/sma
To learn how to implement SMA's in your organization, please join us for a CME event in April 2013.
Communication Between Physicians
One aspect of shared medical appointments that patients appreciate is the communication between physicians," Dr. Sumego said. "A patient can have a primary care physician at a particular location and attend a shared medical appointment at a different location. These two providers have access to the patient's records online, allowing them to work together in creating a truly customized care plan from ordering tests, to scheduling follow up appointments, to referring to a specialist for additional care. It's a coordinated effort, which is becoming more and more important to our patients."
Shared medical appointments also expand upon and enhance the care that patients are already receiving. Patients spend more time with their provider and they are able to interact with other patients with similar conditions. Most importantly, patients are able to educate themselves on what it means to control their condition and improve their quality of life overall, which is what the future of healthcare holds.
Who benefits from Shared Medical Appointments?
Group visits are especially beneficial for patients who need the following care:
- Patients needing routine follow up care maybe due to chronic conditions
- Patients seeking more information regarding their specific health issues
- Patients who require mind and body care; these are typically patients who require additional time with their physician
Shared medical appointments are not appropriate for every patient. For example this program is not designed to:
- Replace your regular individual visits with your physician
- Be used as a 1 time consultation
- Treat urgent medical concerns that should be addressed by a specialist immediately
- Diagnose and treat complex medical care
The key to success is to follow the requirements of the process carefully and ensure that each patient receives the most appropriate care for his or her individual medical issues.