Try hosting shared medical visits

August 25, 2011

Learn how to host shared medical visits.

Q: I would like to host shared medical visits. I have several patients with diabetes whom I think would benefit from group visits. How would I go about getting started?

A: Survey your patients with diabetes to see whether there is a time that works best for them. Plan to have staff members help so that you see patients individually, although in a public area to discuss the testing that is done at the same time. Half of the group can work on the education piece with a nurse or midlevel, while your and a "scribe" review the glucose levels and weight management of the other half. Then switch groups. Be sure you have a release from each patient, because they will be revealing some things that would be affected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Find out whether another group near you does group visits and ask whether you can sit in on a few of its meetings. It will help you learn what works and what doesn't for group visits and will be time well spent.