Posted Friday, June 01, 2012
The Women’s Medicine Collaborative at The Miriam Hospital has received a $358,585 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation for a three-year period to support the pilot of the Shared Medical Appointments Program to expand access to primary care and to enhance care for patients with chronic illnesses in need of frequent medical visits.
During shared medical appointments, 10 to 15 patients meet with a multidisciplinary medical team for approximately 90 minutes, encouraging discussion and sharing of ideas, while maintaining confidentiality. This model is gaining in popularity throughout the United States because it reduces the wait-time patients experience for primary care appointments, allows medical practices to serve more patients and expand capacity, and has been associated with increased patient and provider satisfaction as well as improved quality of patient care in a number of studies.
The Women’s Medicine Collaborative is the state’s largest multi-specialty center dedicated to caring for women at all stages of life. This pilot program will enable the Collaborative to continue to provide access to primary care for new patients while also providing better care for patients with chronic illnesses. The pilot will include primary care sick visits, follow-up visits and theme-focused shared medical appointments for patients needing care in two critical areas that impact overall health: physical activity and healthy eating habits.
“This grant will allow us to increase access to our primary care providers and to implement promising practices in supportive care for patients with chronic illnesses,” said Margaret Miller, M.D., director of the Women’s Medicine Collaborative. “We are grateful for the Rhode Island Foundation’s ongoing efforts to enhance primary care in our state and for their vision in supporting innovative models of providing these services. The Foundation’s support of this pilot is crucial to our ability to implement the shared medical appointments which we believe will result in improved health in our population.”
The pilot is slated to begin later this year.
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