WATERLOO (KWWL) -- How would you like to go see the doctor with seven or eight other patients in the same room? It may not sound great, but one Texas hospital is doing it, and patients and doctors say it actually improved the quality of care.
The well child check up, it's a time when babies are weighed and measured and parents can voice their concerns. But at Parkland Hospital, these routine visits are now done as shared medical appointments.
"I think the SMA's are a great opportunity for the mothers, primarily because they're surrounded by other mothers who may be at different stages in parenting," said pediatrician Shalini Rajeskaran.
Every child is examined one at a time. Then questions are asked and answered in a group setting.
"You get to learn what other people are going through and if you have the same problem, then you kind of already know because they talked about it here," Zulu Soto said.
Some mothers say it's far more convenient because they don't spend hours in a waiting room with a newborn.
"We have to change diapers and give formula, so it's kind of hard for you to be waiting here for a couple of hours," Soto said. "So I think this is a good thing."
Doctors say because they're not rushing from room to room, they actually spend more time with their patients.
The shared medical appointments are also used for patients with chronic illnesses like asthma and diabetes, where education is a key part of treatment.