Bangor, Maine – As the healthcare industry moves forward with a greater focus on keeping people healthy, organizations across the country are piloting ways of helping patients better manage chronic diseases. EMMC’s Center for Family Medicine has launched an innovative care model for diabetes patients that offers group medical visits each month.
Group medical visits have been shown in studies to result in a decrease in emergency department use and hospital admissions, making more efficient use of resources, and improving access to care. Diabetes patients gather each month for these visits which include a topic of the day, a question and answer time, followed by 1:1 time with a provider. The visits use group process to help motivate behavior change and improve outcomes. Patient feedback has been very positive; patients state that the visits are helpful because they get to exchange ideas, and learn how others cope with the same type of medical issues.
“I feel it is important to offer this model to our patients and to expose our resident physicians to it so that it might be something they can incorporate into their future practice,” explains Jessica Bloom-Foster, MD, clinical faculty physician at Center for Family Medicine residency program. “We hope this program can be expanded over time, to include group medical office visits for other chronic conditions, like stress management, or even group prenatal visits.”
The diabetes group meets monthly from 1-2:30 pm at The Center for Family Medicine on EMMC’s Union Street campus, and is welcoming new patients.