Study Backs Shared Medical Appointments for Kidney Stone Patients

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ORLANDO, Fla.—Shared medical appointments (SMAs) for kidney stone patients may be an efficient approach to nephrolithasis prevention, researchers concluded in a poster presented at the National Kidney Foundation's 2013 Spring Clinical Meetings.

Roy Jhagroo, MD, and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin in Madison looked at the effect of SMAs on new stone patients. A total of 112 patients were seen in 27 SMAs over 14 months. The SMAs involved 6-10 patients, a nephrologist or urologist, registered dietitian, and a medical assistant. SMAs included a general presentation on kidney stones, dietary intake assessment, medical and stone history, individual risk assessment, and individualize therapies described. A registered dietitian provided education on nutrition-related risks and discussed nutrition strategies to reduce risk.

The study found that appointment wait time decreased steadily from 180 days prior to SMAs to 84 with SMAs. The number of patients seen per month increased 43%. The number of new clinic patients (including those seen in both SMAs and in individual appointments) who received nutrition education and intervention increased from about 50% prior to SMAs to nearly 75%. In addition, 87% of patients who attended SMAs rated their satisfaction as “excellent” or “very good” and 90% said they would recommend this kind of visit to others. Post-tests showed that patients in SMAs had superior knowledge about prevention compared with controls.

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