Last week there was a terrific column in the New York Times by Pauline Chen about the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Lately, everywhere I turn, I’m hearing more and more about the Patient Centered Medical Home. Are you experiencing the same phenomenon? The medical home concept involves a new model of primary care where technology, a new payment model and an integrated team approach are combined to improve care and address chronic health conditions. The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative defines the PCMH in the following manner (from their website – http://www.pcpcc.net/patient-centered-medical-home):
The patient centered medical home (PCMH) is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care to adults, youth and children. The PCMH will broaden access to primary care, while enhancing care coordination. Clinicians practicing in the highest level medical home will:
- Take personal responsibility and accountability for the ongoing care of patients;
- Be accessible to their patients on short notice for expanded hours and open scheduling;
- Be able to conduct consultations through email and telephone;
- Utilize the latest health information technology and evidence-based medical approaches, as well as maintain updated electronic personal health records;
- Conduct regular check-ups with patients to identify looming health crises, and initiate treatment/prevention measures before costly, last-minute emergency procedures are required;
- Advise patients on preventative care based on environmental and genetic risk factors they face;
- Help patients make healthy lifestyle decisions; and
- Coordinate care, when needed, making sure procedures are relevant, necessary and performed efficiently.
Here’s video from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative that introduces the PCMH concept:
In her NY Times piece, Pauline Chen defines the Patient Centered Medical Home as “team-based, preventive and comprehensive, rather than one-on-one, fee-for-service or managed. Record keeping and sharing is seamless and electronic, rather than unwieldy and paper-based. Clinicians from the team are easily accessible in person, on the phone or via the Internet within 24 hours, rather than hidden behind labyrinthine automatic answering services and overbooked clinic schedules.” (Source: “Putting Patients at the Center of the Medical Home,” NY Times, July 15, 2010)
This is a trend whose time has come. If you work in healthcare and you’re not familiar with it, take this opportunity to get acquainted with the concept. And definitely check out Pauline Chen’s article at http://tinyurl.com/2wneagy.
Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer