In our modern age, medical care delivery options have certainly changed for the better. Take, for example, the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model. It’s an innovative approach to health care delivery designed to improve the patient’s experience, improve overall health, and reduce the cost of care.
The concept behind PCMH is simple: to provide patients with treatment coordinated through their primary care physician to ensure they receive necessary care whenever and wherever it’s needed in a way they can understand.
The objective of a PCMH is to have a centralized location that enables patients – and when appropriate their families – to partner with their personal physicians. Care is expedited with the use of registries, information technology, health information exchange, and other means to assure that patients get the indicated care when and where they need and want it.
Put in simpler terms, the PCMH provides health care that is relationship-based with a focus toward the whole person. In order to partner with patients and their families successfully, health care providers need to understand and respect each patient’s unique needs, culture, values, and preferences.
Another characteristic of a patient-centered medical home practice is that it actively supports patients in learning to manage and organize their own care, at the level the patient chooses. Acknowledging that patients and their families are core members of the care team, the PCMH ensures that they are fully informed partners in establishing care plans.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines the core attributes of a Patient-Centered Medical Home as:
- Patient-centered: It supports patients in educating them to manage and organize their own care based on their preferences, ensuring that patients, their families, and caregivers are fully included in the development of their care plans. It also encourages patients to participate in efforts to improve quality, research, and health policy.
- Comprehensive: The PCMH model offers whole-person care from a team of providers accountable for the patient’s physical and behavioral needs. This includes prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.
- Coordinated: As structured, a PCMH ensures care that is organized across all elements of the broader health care spectrum. That includes specialty care, hospitals, home health care, community services, and long-term care support.
- Accessible: A PCMH delivers services within shorter waiting periods. It also provides enhanced in-person person hours, round-the-clock electronic or telephone access, and alternative means of communication using health information technology.
- Committed to quality and safety: The purpose of this is to assist patients and families in making informed decisions about their health.
Although most PCMH primary care practices endeavor to meet these standards, a lot depends on the practice’s individual characteristics, such as: the size of the practice; its location; its composition; and the patient population it serves.
That’s why it is important to entrust your healthcare to a practice that provides not only state-of-the-art services and cutting-edge technology, but also compassionate care that promotes wellness and healing. At SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation, we’ve been providing superior, patient-centered care for over 30 years. Let us help you today by calling (803) 749-1111 or using our convenient online form to request an appointment.