Top 5 Features of the Medical Home

The medical home has become a widely accepted model for how primary care should be organized and delivered throughout the healthcare system. It is a place where patients are treated with respect and dignity, to enable strong and trusting relationships with providers and staff. Above all, the medical home is a model for achieving primary care excellence so that care is received in the right place, at the right time, and in the manner that best suits a patient’s needs.

Features of the Medical Home

The medical home as an approach to the delivery of primary care that is:

  • Patient-centered: A partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families ensures that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs, and preferences, and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.
  • Comprehensive: A team of care providers is wholly accountable for a patient’s physical and mental health care needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.
  • Coordinated: Care is organized across all elements of the broader health care system, including specialty care, hospitals, home health care, community services and supports.
  • Accessible: Patients are able to access services with shorter waiting times, “after hours” care, 24/7 electronic or telephone access, and strong communication through health IT innovations.
  • Committed to quality and safety: Clinicians and staff enhance quality improvement to ensure that patients and families make informed decisions about their health. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) (sometimes referred to as medical home, or advanced primary care) is an innovation in healthcare delivery designed to improve patient experience, improve population health, and reduce the cost of care.
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