Have you ever wondered what it might be like to attend a routine medical appointment with others also managing the same condition? How would you feel knowing your peers have many of the same questions, concerns, fears, and worries as you? Would you feel more comfortable? Maybe more confident?
This winter Denver Indian Health and Family Services will start offering shared medical appointments for our patients managing type 2 diabetes. Shared medical appointments, or “SMA,” optimizes patient and provider time through an interprofessional team-base approach. The American Journal of Managed Care reports SMA’s have been shown to reduce A1C, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and decrease hospitalizations. Patients often feel a sense of community and accountability to others in the group. One patient participating in a SMA at Nebraska Medical Center stated that “coming to … meetings kind of cheer me up because I know there are other people, so I'm not alone.”
SMA’s for a variety of conditions, like COPD, pain, and pregnancy, are becoming much more common throughout Indian Country. Native American Health Center in Oakland California offers shared medical appointments for clinical weight management. Stay tuned for further announcements about our upcoming SMAs!