The premise of the shared medical appointment (SMA), first described in 1974 as a model for well-child consultations, is to provide the educational part of a medical appointment once with a large group of patients rather than repeating the same material over and over again on a one-on-one basis.
The shared medical appointment, including the educational component plus the medical visit, lasted a total of 90 minutes.
Shared medical appointments allow more patients to be seen in a given period of time and often lead to improved outcomes, as well as greater patient and provider satisfaction.
Kirsh S, Watts S, Pascuzzi K et al: Shared medical appointments based on the chronic care model: a quality improvement project to address the challenges of patients with diabetes with high cardiovascular risk, Qual Saf Health Care 2007:16(5) 349-353.
In addition to its efforts to reduce the local rate of prediabetes, Carolinas Healthcare System is transforming the way diabetes is treated, offering access to nationally recognized diabetes care givers and innovative care models such as shared medical appointments
, personalized long-term care plans delivered by multi-disciplinary diabetes care teams, and future virtual visits.
In addition to urging adoption of the medical home model and retail clinics, the institute recommended such changes as shared medical appointments
, open-access scheduling, more work site wellness programs, and primary care home visits.