Defining the Patient Centered Medical Home
The concept of a medical home was first introduced by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 1967. The AAP defined the medical home as the center of a child’s medical records, and was created with the care of children with special health care needs in mind. The modern view of medical homes has expanded to look at the medical and non medical needs of children and adults alike.
Today’s medical home is a cultivated partnership between the patient, family, and primary provider in cooperation with specialists and support from the community. The patient/family is the focal point of this model, and the medical home is built around this center.
The medical home model holds promise as a way to improve health care in America by transforming how primary care is organized and delivered. Building on the work of a large and growing community, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a medical home not simply as a place but as a model of the organization of primary care that delivers the core functions of primary health care.
Patient Centered Medical Care has become a widely accepted as a model for how primary care should be delivered throughout the health care system. It is a place in which working with patients in a respectful and collaborative manner enables strong and trusting relationships with providers and staff.
In 2007, the several primary care physician associations developed the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home. The model has since evolved, and many groups follow the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s current description of the medical home which describes it as a model of organization that encompasses five functions and traits:
- Patient-Centered: Relationship-based primary care that meets the individual patient and family’s needs, preferences, and priorities
- Comprehensive: Whole person orientation, for all stages of life
- Coordinated: Ensures that patients receive all of the care and services they need
- Accessible: Enhancing patients’ access to care
- Emphasis on Quality and Safety: Use of evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools
The Patient Centered Medical Home in Action
Toolkits and Resources
- Patient Centered Medical Home Resource Center (AHRQ)
- Building Your Medical Home Toolkit – American Academy of Pediatrics
PCMH Resources and Articles
- AHRQ Papers, Briefs, and Other Resources
- Health Literacy: Hidden Barriers and Practical Strategies – AHRQ Slide Presentation
- American College of Physicians – Patient Centered Medical Home Page
- The future of patient-centered care: Dave Moen at TEDxUMN
- Examples of PCMH Programs – Rural Health Information Hub
- Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative – Webinar
- The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative