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Catherine Gow Quoted in Building Design + Construction

Julie S. Higginbotham, September 2013 Download PDF

The New Medical Office Building - 7 Things You Need to know About Today's Outpatient Clinic

Daylight floods a comfortably furnished room Where 10 patients sit in a circle, listening to an orientation by a registered nurse. Ranging from 40 years old to 70-something, all have Type 2 diabetes. Most of the 9O-minute session will consist of a freewheeling discussion with an endocrinologist, encompassing symptoms, prognoses, prescriptions, and daily care. At the conclusion of the group meeting, a few patients will be examined in adjacent private rooms. Future sessions will involve a nutritionist, podiatrist, and ophthalmologist.

This is the so-called "shared medical appointment," or SMA, and it's a far cry from a standard 20-minute consult. The SMA epitomizes a new era in healthcare - one that views patients holistically rather than as an assortment of pathologies, and rewards providers for keeping people healthy. Though they've existed experimentally for more than a decade, SMAs are gaining traction for chronic conditions like hypertension, asthma, and celiac disease. Patients get extra time with the specialist, and the specialist makes more money, faster. (In the above scenario, the endocrinologist could bill insurers $100 an hour for each 01 10 patients. Seeing them individually could take more than three hours.)

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