Understanding the Basics of the Patient-Centered Medical Home

The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is one of healthcare’s most popular designations, serving as a way for primary care organizations to codify and implement population health managementprograms, care coordination tactics, and the principles of comprehensive, data-driven, accessible care.

While several different national organizations offer PCMH recognition, no healthcare provider can embark upon in such extensive changes to their patient care strategies without having a solid understanding of how the patient-centered care model works. [wordle]

In the first article of a new series focused on practice transformation, HealthITAnalytics.com will break down the basics of the patient-centered medical home before moving deeper into best practices for adopting patient-centric care models.

What does “patient-centered medical home” actually mean?

The patient-centered medical home is a structured approach to primary care delivery that stresses putting the patient-provider relationship at the core of all healthcare decision making.  In order to support the entirety of a patient’s primary care needs, a PCMH provider develops a team-based approach to healthcare with an emphasis on preventative services, care coordination, and access to care.

According to the Joint Principles of the PCMH, developed and maintained by a number of professional societies, the five main features of a successful patient-centered medical home include:

• Providing comprehensive care by taking into account the patient as a whole person and supporting both mental and physical health with a coordinated care team

• Taking a patient-centered approach to care delivery by developing meaningful relationships with the patient, her family, and her caregivers that takes into account the patient’s socioeconomic and cultural values and preferences

• Employing care coordination strategies by harnessing health information exchange, EHR interoperability, and population health management analytics to ensure that patient health information is accessible and usable at all care sites across the healthcare continuum

• Ensuring the accessibility of services by offering extended hours, alternative sites for care during emergencies, improving the scheduling process, or making use of technologies such as telehealth, mHealth, and home monitoring devices

• Focusing on care quality and patient safety by using evidence-based medicine, clinical decision support tools, healthcare analytics, and best practices to provide a safe, high-quality, satisfactory experience for each and every patient

Go to top