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Shared Medical Appointments for Preoperative Evaluation of Symptomatic Macromastia

Giladi, Aviram M. M.D., M.S.; Brown, David L. M.D.; Alderman, Amy K. M.D., M.P.H.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2014 - Volume 134 - Issue 6 - p 1108–1115
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000750
Breast: Original Article
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Background: Shared medical appointments combine individual patient-physician encounters with a group educational segment. This allows for patients' needs to be addressed individually and for patients to benefit from shared learning. Shared medical appointments enhance knowledge, understanding, and management of disease by providing a variety of perspectives and experiences. In addition, physician-patient contact time and clinic efficiency are increased. This study assesses patient satisfaction and provider efficiency with shared medical appointments for symptomatic macromastia.

Methods: Patients were offered a shared medical appointment or traditional individual appointment. After the appointment, patients completed a satisfaction survey. Provider efficiency was measured by comparing visits per hour.

Results: Over 6 months, 26 of 28 shared medical appointment patients and 26 of 29 traditional individual appointment patients completed the survey. Patients reported 89 percent satisfaction with traditional individual appointments and shared medical appointments (p = 0.1), and both groups reported 92 percent satisfaction with thoroughness of care (p = 0.1). Seventy-seven percent of the shared medical appointment group said it was very or extremely likely they would participate in a shared medical appointment in the future. Provider efficiency increased nearly 250 percent, as patients-per-hour averaged 6.4 for shared medical appointments versus 2.67 for traditional individual appointments.

Conclusions: Shared medical appointments for macromastia resulted in high patient satisfaction. Results were comparable to those of traditional individual appointments. No patients were dissatisfied, and provider efficiency improved. Shared medical appointments have unique benefits in patient education without compromising thoroughness or patient satisfaction, and offer an alternative delivery model that improves efficiency.

Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Atlanta, Ga.

From the Department of Surgery, Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Michigan Health System; and private practice.

Received for publication February 27, 2014; accepted May 7, 2014.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Aviram M. Giladi, M.D., M.S., Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Michigan Health Systems, 2130 Taubman Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109, aviram@med.umich.edu

©2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons