What is a Shared Medical Appointment?

Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) are an alternate form of primary care delivery that leverages the expertise of health care providers working with a group of patients with the same chronic disease. Many forms exist (can also be called “Group Visits”) but the hallmark features are: providing education and self-management strategies to a group of patients, peer support, clinical advice or management.

Introduction to the Boise VA Interprofessional Trainee-Led SMA:

This implementation kit is the culmination of the Boise CoEPCE’s work to provide population-based care for our patients with diabetes while also training the next generation of healthcare providers to offer this type of care in the future. The resources that follow include information for healthcare professionals who want to offer shared medical appointments for any patient population with chronic disease. Many of the resources are focused on training learners to provide SMAs but can be used even in the absence of trainees in your setting. These resources have been successfully used and refined based on feedback from our trainees and our Veteran patients.

Why did we choose to implement this innovation?

In an effort to train our interprofessional trainees in new models of primary care and provide alternative care for patients with chronic diseases, the Boise VA established trainee-led Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) for Type 2 diabetes in 2014. Our SMA is a series of five monthly group visits that focus on diabetes self-management support and are conducted by nurse practitioner, medicine, registered nurse, psychology and pharmacy trainees. Peer support, practical education, self-management skills and goal-oriented treatment are the hallmarks of our SMA.

Training Goals and Objectives:

  • Contribute to planning and execution of an SMA series
  • Understand the roles that each team member can play in an SMA
  • Improve confidence in teaching groups of patients