Implementing shared medical appointments for heart failure patients in a community cardiology practice: a pilot study

Heart Lung. Nov-Dec 2013;42(6):456-61. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2013.08.006. Epub 2013 Sep 24.


Objective: To examine patient and staff satisfaction, billing charges, and programmatic feasibility of shared medical appointments (SMA) in a nurse practitioner-managed heart failure (HF) clinic in a community cardiology practice.

Methods: Twenty patients were scheduled among four SMAs for this pilot study. All aspects of a usual clinic appointment were utilized during the SMA, but an additional 20-minute teaching session was presented. All patients completed a satisfaction questionnaire. The office staff completed satisfaction questionnaires about the SMA. Billing charges, cancellations and missed appointments without cancellation for SMAs were compared to usual clinic appointment days.

Results: Satisfaction was high among patients and office staff. Rates for no-shows were similar for SMAs versus usual appointments (15% versus 5.5%), but there were fewer cancellations among SMAs (0% versus 28%). This may be a reflection of the personalized appointment reminder calls that were made to the patients scheduled for SMAs. Billing charges were not significantly different for SMAs versus usual appointments.

Conclusion: SMAs are a feasible option in a community cardiology practice.

Keywords: Cardiology; Heart failure; Nurse practitioner; Patient education; Patient satisfaction; Revenue; Shared medical appointment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cardiology / organization & administration
  • Community Medicine / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires