A Shared Medical Appointment (SMA) allows select groups of patients to receive individual consultations in a group setting.
Implementing SMAs can provide a variety of benefits to both your patients and your practice.
Clinicians can struggle to meet a patient’s more complex needs in a 15-minute appointment and these patients often feel rushed and leave without really understanding their condition and how to better self-manage. This traditional model is stressful and does not provide satisfaction for either party. The SMA approach provides opportunity to improve the patient experience and outcomes as well as improving service efficiency with best use of GP time. It is also an approach that does not impact negatively on the financial income of the practice or incur additional cost for the patient. Indeed, patients report getting better value for the co-payment due to the increased time for education, learning from others and the peer support.
The real benefit of SMAs for these patients is they learn from other patients and this can create the behavioural change that is needed for them to better manage their condition and learn self-management techniques resulting in outcomes that can be difficult to achieve in the traditional model.