Patients Experience Support, Confidence in Shared Medical Appointments
According to an article published in the Kansas online news source, WIBW, the Cotton-O'Neil Diabetes Center in Topeka, KS is now offering shared medical appointments for patients. The new program allows diabetes patients to participate in group discussions after the individual physical exam.
Renee Johnson, APN, CDE with the Cotton-O'Neil Diabetes Center in Topeka first implemented the group visits in December 2011 in an effort to improve doctor-patient relations. Johnson believes the success of the shared medical appointments comes from the support patients feel from the group members who are going through the same course of treatment.
Shirley Tibbits, of Topeka, has been living with Type 1 diabetes for 55 years and told WIBW that she has never felt entirely comfortable asking questions or having one-on-one conversations with her doctor. Recently, Tibbits began going to her appointments with a group of friends who have been diagnosed with the same disease; she stated that the group holds her accountable and she is encouraged to know she isn’t facing diabetes alone.
Hospitals and medical centers, including Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Cleveland, OH clinics, have also adopted shared medical visits for patients with diabetes and have reported similar success to the Cotton-O’Neil Diabetes Center. A study conducted by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH revealed that patients who participate in shared appointments saw a 30 percent decrease in emergency room visits, a 20 percent drop in hospitalizations, and reduced A1C levels. According to WIBW, the success of the program will promote its initiation into several healthcare centers to improve the quality of care diabetes patients experience.
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