the patient-centered medical home model: what is it?
With technological advancement and the need to develop better ways of delivering improved healthcare, new strategies are emerging. One of these strategies is the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). The PCMH model promises to improve healthcare in America through the transformation of primary care delivery.
The architects of the PCMH intend to ensure patients’ treatment is received as much as possible through their primary physicians and that they receive the treatment at their time of need, regardless of their location. It is also a model that hopes to improve healthcare in a manner that the patients can understand. The aims of the model are to:
- Ensure healthcare provided is linguistically and culturally appropriate for patients
- Improve health information exchange
- Provide care that is facilitated by registries and expedited by information technology
- Provide centralized facilities that connect patients to their personal physicians and if needed, connect patients to their families
The PCMH model utilizes 5 approaches, which include:
1. Accessible Services
The direct connection between a patient and their physician allows for easy access to healthcare whenever needed. This minimizes the time a patient must wait in order to receive necessary treatment.
2. Coordinated Care
This model promotes coordinated care across all elements in the healthcare system. This coordination is especially important when a patient is transitioning from a hospital to a recovery center or discharged and allowed to go home to recuperate.
3. Comprehensive Care
The model enables a better understanding of the patient therefore able to meet majority of each patient’s physical and mental health needs. The model makes it easy to prevent and treat acute, and chronic needs.
4. Patient-Centered Care
Patient-centered care provides relationship-based healthcare. The focus is not only on the illness, but also on the whole-health wellness. Such patient-centered care focuses on understanding the patient’s family, respecting their unique needs, values, culture, and preferences. The model also promotes better communication between the patients, their physicians, and the family.
5. Quality and Safety
The PCMH model enables physicians to actively use evidence-based medicine and technologically advanced procedures that facilitate smarter healthcare and a better patient experience. These procedures and practices include advancements such as microsampling that promote safety and improved patient-centered services.