- Julie C. Gass, PhD, Clinical Research Psychologist, VA Center for Integrated Healthcare, Buffalo, NY
- David Edelman, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and Fellowship Director, Duke School of Medicine, Durham, NC
For patients with medical and behavioral health comorbidities, a standard primary care visit may not be sufficient to address the multifaceted nature of their concerns. Conjoint appointments are a brief (e.g., 5-10 minute) type of appointment wherein at least two providers of diverse areas of training/expertise (e.g., a BHP and a PCP) meet with a patient jointly to address these more complex issues. While conjoint appointments are shown to be helpful, sometimes providers are hesitant to agree to try conjoint appointments. This presentation, which has an applied clinical focus, will provide attendees the opportunity to not only hear about what a conjoint appointment is and when it can be useful, but also how to go about conducting one and how to recruit other providers to engage in conjoint appointments. In this talk, we will discuss (1) briefly review and define conjoint appointments, discuss the evidence for their use, and describe other research demonstrating how they can improve patient satisfaction and BHP follow-up (~15 minutes), (2) our efforts to increase the number of conjoint appointments occurring at a VA Integrated Primary Care clinic, including strategies used to discuss this with different providers (~15 minutes), and (3) the basic mechanics of a conjoint appointment, the most beneficial components of conjoint appointments and how attendees can adapt our information to fit their own clinics (~20 minutes), followed by a question and answer period. Participants of this session will receive a handout detailing our “Lessons Learned” regarding how providers can discuss conjoint appointments with each other, common pitfalls in the process, and how a move to virtual care during the pandemic led to a shift in how conjoint appointments operate. Participants will also get to see a simulated example of a conjoint appointment.
- Define a conjoint appointment and identify scenarios that they can be optimally used for
- Describe strategies to recruit providers to use conjoint appointments
- Adapt conjoint appointment components to work in their own clinical setting