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Ask the Expert

Q: What are the ways in which shared medical appointments can work in sports medicine?

posted on March 19, 2013

A: Sports medicine is an ideal place for shared medical appointments. Ideal opportunities include shared medical appointments geared to specific injuries or conditions, management of chronic conditions, and arthritis management. SMAs are a way to achieve multiple organizational goals: improve care, improve patient satisfaction with care, improve work satisfaction for providers and staff and (not least of all) improve the organizations bottom line. Sports medicine and musculoskeletal care practices and clinics provide an opportune place to set, and achieve, these goals.

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Why Mock Shared Medical Appointments are Critical for Success

posted on March 13, 2013

Just like a mock debate, a mock SMA is an imitation of a real SMA. It has simulated patients, simulated medical records, and simulated scenarios. However, the workflow, healthcare team, location, and EMR system are all quite real. And even the “simulated” stuff is based on reality. The point of a mock SMA is to do everything that you would do in a real SMA so that when the real thing happens, you are ready.

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Ask the Expert Communication Series: The Patient Voice

posted on March 01, 2013

In our past two posts in this series, I talked about provider-to-provider communication and provider-to-patient communication. In my experience, the support, education, and sharing in an SMA, promotes patient confidence in making health care decisions. It empowers patients to make their voices heard and to take control of their health.

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Marketing Shared Medical Appointments…..Push or Pull?

posted on February 25, 2013

One of the essential keys to success for your SMA is effective marketing. For marketing to be successful it must effectively promote the program to patients through a saturation of materials detailing the program, highlighting the benefits, and making patients feel as if they are part of a special group. Some facilities focus on primarily pulling patients in by offering SMAs as an option for return appointments, while others prefer to push information and knowledge out to patients thereby creating a service demand.

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Shared Medical Appointments and Shared Decision-Making

posted on February 18, 2013

Medical decision-making is never easy. It is never devoid of emotion and completely rational. And it is rarely done in a silo. Lately, there has been a push for shared decision-making among doctors, patients, and families. Shared medical appointments and shared decision making go together like peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Or, since we are in healthcare, like peas and carrots.

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Ask the Expert Communication Series: Provider to Patient Communication

posted on February 06, 2013

As we discussed in our previous post, shared medical appointments (SMAs) improve communication between providers. With SMAs, the care team members all know what is agreed upon for follow-up. This helps the team communicate better with one another, but also translates into a tangible value for the patient.

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Ask the Expert Communication Series: Provider to Provider Communication

posted on February 04, 2013

In the course of participating in numerous SMAs, I have been surprised by the powerful positive impact this model has on communication among team members. Our team supports and learns from one another at each encounter. The experience working along side the other members of the team, instead of in sequence enhances me as a provider.

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Solving Primary Care Physician Shortages

posted on January 28, 2013

You may have seen the recent article in Health Affairs regarding addressing the problem of primary care physician shortages. Using simulation modeling, it makes a strong case that those shortages could be eliminated through the use of physician teams, non-physicians and electronic communication. There is an alternative approach that would allow patients to continue to see their primary care physician on a consistent basis and eliminate physician shortages – shared medical appointments.

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Ask the Expert: Helping Patients Be Health SMART

posted on January 21, 2013

One of the ways to help your patients with goal setting is to help them set SMART goals. During the SMA, you and the behaviorist can help the patient create a clear vision of their ultimate goal. Then, create a clear plan to achieve the ultimate goal.

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Case Study: Implementing SMAs at UC San Diego Health System

posted on January 14, 2013

UC San Diego Health System, one of the nation’s premier academic medical institutions, looked to adopt shared medical appointments (SMAs) to improve the time patients spend with physicians and patient involvement in their care. Experts steered UCSD to Cambria Health...

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Ask The Expert: SMA Census

posted on January 07, 2013

The key ingredient to a successful SMA is to have adequate census. When you do not have enough patients in the group, it's kind of like showing up to a party with not enough guests. It's long, boring and most cannot wait to leave. And, it also does not make financial sense.

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