Patient-Centered Medical Home

What is a patient-centered medical home?

The patient-centered medical home (or PCMH) is an approach to healthcare that, according to the Institute of Medicine, “is respectful and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”

The PCMH is not a nursing home; it is a medical office or clinic that emphasizes the importance the physician-patient partnership.

This video from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative explains the PCMH model of care:

View this video in Spanish

The keys to a patient-centered medical home are that patients receive:

  • Care from a team of health care providers, led by the patient’s own doctor.
  • Care that gets the patient through an illness and helps to keep him or her well.
  • Care that includes the patient and his or her family as a member of the team, where the patient can talk about what her or she would like and how to take charge of his or her own care.
  • Care that is easier to schedule with flexible appointments and more ways to keep in touch with the care team, like phone and email.
  • Care that is coordinated because the primary care providers and specialists work together.
  • Care that is explained clearly and includes the patient’s preferences.

Important aspects of the medical home model:

  • The clinician gets to know a patient as a whole person
  • Visits are longer allow patients and care providers to fully discuss their views and concerns
  • Care providers must make sure to overcome any language, cultural, literacy, or other barriers that might prevent complete understanding of treatment and testing options