A well-run, well-planned SMA ensures as much medical care as possible is provided to each patient during the session, including clinical consultation, current results and health plan, physical examinations if required, and support from the care team.
Ensure the room is set up and welcoming for the patients. The white board/flip chart should have the patient information you have consent to share. This could be blood test results, diagnostic and observations. Patient handouts and information should be available.
A desk set up with laptop or other device for the person recording the SMA and with the SMA template on the screen ready for each patient’s notes to be accessed.
These resources will keep things running smoothly on the day.
The facilitator welcomes the patients into the room. The group ground rules are introduced and the group is asked to abide by them. The facilitator explains the process of the SMA, and introduces the practice team and their roles and functions.
Introductions are made of the practice team and each patient introduces themselves. This could include condition, length of diagnosis, current state, but should be brief.
At the point of introduction, the patient may share their question/concern they are seeking a consultation for.
The facilitator will write the question on the white board.
After introductions, the facilitator will identify the order in which the patient will have their consultation and this is numbered on the board. The order should keep the patients engaged throughout the SMA.
The clinician begins with discussion based on the results board and questions/issues now identified on the board.
Each patient has an individual consultation with the clinician. Any additional observations, examinations (able to be done in public such as face, hands, arms), changes to current treatment, new treatments, health plan update, referrals, procedures etc are recorded by the recorder into the patient record.
The facilitator manages the group’s questions and group discussion at the same time as the clinician is consulting.
Depending on the group, the SMA may focus more on peer support, self-management, behavioural changes, problem solving, education (handouts) and goals for the patients.
In a support group, people are able to talk with other people who are like themselves — people who truly understand what they're going through and can share the type of practical insights that can only come from first-hand experience.
Team debrief – review processes and SMA content.
Patients complete a patient satisfaction form.
Notes and care plans are completed
Planning begins for the next one.