The Perceptions of Shared Medical Appointments among Health Care Workers at Parkland Hospital's Community Oriented Primary Care Clinics
Murthy, Neil C.
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INTRODUCTION: Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) are a novel way of delivering health care to patients in a group setting. Past research regarding SMA quality improvement have always been patient focused. There is a great deal in the literature that shows that patients perceive SMAs favorably and that patients experience better health outcomes through the SMA format. There is a paucity in the literature regarding providers’ perceptions regarding SMA efficacy and implementation, and whether or not these provider perceptions could affect care. The specific aims of this study were to determine the SMA team’s perceptions on 1) the quality of care delivered through an SMA, and 2) the feasibility of implementing an SMA in a primary care setting. This study was conducted at all eight of the Parkland Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) clinics located in the Dallas, TX area. METHODS: This cross-sectional study recruited 72 participants who were employees at the Parkland COPCs. The 72 participants had to fill out a survey that covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from their perceptions regarding SMA job training, SMA facilitation, SMA implementation, and SMA quality of care. RESULTS: Quantitative analysis was conducted using SAS, and qualitative analysis was conducted on all subjective answers. We found that most SMA team members harbored positive perceptions regarding SMA format and structure, and SMA quality of care. SMA protocols and curricula were not standardized, and language assistants were most likely to be not trained for their roles on the SMA team. DISCUSSION: Non-standardized protocols/curricula and a lack of training for language assistants could affect the quality of care being delivered to patients. SMAs need to have standardized protocols/curricula, and all SMA team members are due for a refresher training course for their job roles.