- Maria Patriquin, MD CCFP FCFP, Founder & Medical Director Living Well Integrative Health Center, Halifax, NS Canada
- Robin Stamm RPT, Registered Physiotherapist, Living Well Integrative Health Center, Halifax, NS Canada
- Lisa Gallvez RD, Registered Dietician, Living Well Integrative Health Center, Halifax, NS Canada
- Stefanie Winters Certified Yoga Instructor & Personal Fitness Trainer, Living Well Integrative Health Center, Halifax, NS Canada
- Leila Shaw RD RMT, Registered Dietician, Living Well Integrative Health Center, Halifax, NS Canada
GMV’s are an innovative way to deliver care that enable clinicians to overcome individual and systemic barriers to accessing care. GMVs give patients access, education and advice from a primary care provider and diverse health professionals that might normally be inaccessible due to a number of variables including lack of private insurance. They allow providers to leverage resources and encourage authentic interdisciplinary collaboration thereby facilitating integrative care. A medical and a health promotional educational component geared toward lifestyle interventions typically comprise the visit. GMVs are suited for preventative, psychiatric care, psycho-education and chronic disease management (DMII, COPD, HTN, CVA, CHF). There is a growing body of research supporting improved health outcomes. The pandemic has necessitated migration to online forums for provision of care yet the format holds the potential to fragment care, moving away from an integrated approach. The GMV has the potential to enhance and strengthen collaboration through inclusion of diverse health practitioners whose expertise augment that of the primary care provider. Virtual GMVs could conceivably help address address issues that have disproportionally affected vulnerable groups by removing barriers related to mobility, transportation, finances, access and education. This increases patient engagement and promotes continuity of care. GMVs cultivate a sense of belonging and community among persons from diverse backgrounds with unique individual challenges. Similarly community can be fostered in the group format among homogenous groups of patients that self identify as a racial, ethnic or cultural group with unique needs. The group experience chips away at the stigma associated with illness particularly that of mental health diagnoses. GMV through virtual platforms help lessen the burden of isolation associated with the covid pandemic. GMVs increase access, decrease wait times, ER visits and enable patients to overcome significant systemic and individual barriers to accessing care. They are a more efficient use of time and resources. Subjective and objective evaluation measures are required to ensure that programming is effective and sustainable. By combining education, skill building and behavioral change patients are transformed from passive to engaged. The process if designed well cultivates community, enhances learning through vicarious sharing and combats the stigma associated with medical labels and diagnoses.
- Describe and understand what a group medical visit is and the evolving evidence to support its role in care during and beyond the pandemic.
- Identify a systematic way to choose, design and resource a group medical visit that is both patient and population centred
- Discuss ways in which to increase engagement, optimize self- management and achieve improved health outcomes