For the past three years, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates has offered many patients the option of participating in a Shared Medical Appointment (SMA). A SMA is a 90-minute group medical visit with the patient’s doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, and a full multidisciplinary care team in the company of other patients. The patient participates as part of a small group of 8-15 patients who are scheduled for follow-up care or even an annual physical. During an appointment, each patient still has the opportunity to be privately examined or address personal issues with his or her doctor as needed.
Since our program’s inception, we have launched 68 SMA sessions across 16 specialty areas and over 10,000 patients have participated in a SMA appointment. Most importantly, more than 80 percent who participate say they would be interested in attending a group appointment again.
As our SMA program is one of the largest in the country, many organizations have asked us to share our knowledge and experiences with this innovative approach to care delivery. To provide a forum to share best practices, Harvard Vanguard is hosting “Getting Better Together: A Shared Medical Appointment Symposium” on Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. In addition to speakers from our organization, physicians and administrative leaders from Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser, Bellin Health, North Shore Physicians Group and others will be on hand to share their experiences and offer advice about implementing and maintaining successful SMA programs.
The symposium content is geared toward front-line clinical and operations staff and CME/CNE credits are available. Click here to view the agenda and register for this 1½ day event. Space is limited so register by September 30 to get the early-bird registration fee!