Shared medical appointments successful for vitiligo patients
A recent study has shown the feasibility and benefit of shared medical appointments in a vitiligo clinic for both patient and provider.
The shared medical appointment is a solution aimed at improving access to dermatologists without compromising patient benefit, experience or satisfaction, according to the authors.
Satisfaction was high among patients with both traditional and shared medical appointments (p>0.05), but time to appointment was faster for the latter. In addition, significantly more new patients were seen monthly with the shared medical appointment (p=0.009).
This study sought to implement the shared medical appointment for patients with vitiligo and compare it to the traditional approach as regards patient satisfaction, time to appointment, number of new patients seen per month and generated income.
The shared medical appointment was implemented in a vitiligo clinic, and a 12-question survey was used to evaluate satisfaction in this new approach and in the traditional appointment setting. The authors then compared satisfaction, revenue and appointment logistic data for shared medical appointments with those for the traditional ones for new patients.
This study, however, had certain limitations. The sample size was small, and it was not designed to correlate responder characteristics with survey responses. In addition, there was potential response bias as well as selection bias due to the absence of randomization.
“The shared medical appointment allows patients with a similar diagnosis to be simultaneously cared for and educated by one provider, which has had success in dermatology and other fields of specialty,” the authors said. “[It] provides a potential solution to improve patient access to dermatologists.”