Group Medical Visits
Group medical visits (GMVs) are expanded appointments where patients meet with healthcare providers in a group. For example, instead of seeing six patients with complex care needs at six separate 15 minutes appointments, all six or more patients attend one appointment for 1.5 hours. The time required by providers is similar, but the time for patients is greatly enhanced through longer contact with care providers and others with related medical conditions.
GMVs can be offered in many combinations:
- Physician and facilitator (clinic staff member)
- Physician and facilitator (interdisciplinary team member)
- Two or more interdisciplinary team members. Suggested guidelines:
- No fewer than two providers
- At least one should have specific training in facilitating groups
GMVs have typically been offered in the clinic - in the waiting room or in a larger space. Some providers use other options in the community. The only rule is that it must be private.
GMVs can be offered during clinic hours or after hours, depending on the patient population's availability, and the available options for meeting space, etc.
- Increased efficiency and effectiveness in caring for chronically ill patients
- Enhanced use of the healthcare team
- Less repetition of information
- More time to address psychosocial issues and barriers
- Improved clinical outcomes
- Patient centred care
- Increased provider and patient satisfaction
While there are specific models of GMVs, it is not necessary to follow a particular approach – they can be structured in a number of ways. Most providers start by identifying a patient population that would benefit from the group setting. GMVs can be set up for ‘cohorts’ of patients for a set period of time, or as ’drop-ins’ that are ongoing. The key is to plan well, start small and learn as you go.
For more information and/or to request a copy of a Group Medical Visits implementation guide, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org