The Medical Home Vision
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According to the American College of Physicians, the medical home is a model of care recognizing that the best care is provided not in episodic or illness-based care, but rather through a patient-centered, physician-guided coordinated relationship. This concept supports the management and coordination of healthcare services for each patient by their primary care physician, ultimately providing each patient with effective and efficient care that supports better outcomes.
In 2007, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association, released the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, which includes the characteristics of a patient-centered medical home:
- Personal Relationship: Each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care.
- Team Approach: The personal physician leads a team of individuals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for the ongoing patient care.
- Comprehensive: The personal physician is responsible for providing for all the patient’s health care needs at all stages of life or taking responsibility for appropriately arranging care with other qualified professionals.
- Coordination: Care is coordinated and integrated across all domains of the health care system, facilitated by registries, information technology, health information exchange and other means to assure that patients receive the indicated care when and where they want it.
- Quality and Safety: Quality and safety are hallmarks of the medical home. This includes using electronic medical records and technology to provide decision-support for evidence-based treatments and patient and physician involvement in continuous quality improvement.
- Expanded Access: Enhanced access to care is available through systems such as open scheduling, expanded hours, and new options for communication between patients, physicians, and practice staff.