There's no place like a medical home

March 1, 2017

How can a new home help you stay healthier?

When it's your patient-centered medical home (PCMH).

Although it includes a doctor's office, a PCMH is much more than a place. It's a way of providing primary health care. It helps you and your primary care doctor work together to bring you.

• High-quality care.

• A better patient experience.

• Cost savings.

In a PCMH, your primary care doctor leads a team that partners closely with you throughout life. Nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, physician assistants and other professionals might be on your team too. If they aren't part of your doctor's practice, they may be linked electronically.

To help ensure you get the care you need, your PCMH is:

1. Focused on you as a whole person. That means taking into account your culture, values, and preferences, and helping you learn about and manage your health.

2. Comprehensive. It makes sure you get the majority of care you need, from preventive screening to treatment for acute illnesses and chronic conditions.

3. Coordinated. When you need care at another site, like a hospital, your PCMH helps make sure critical information like your allergy to a medicine or exactly which test you need doesn't slip through the cracks. Electronic medical records may help with this.

4. Accessible. A PCMH offers shorter waiting times for urgent care, extended office hours and 24/7 access-often by phone or e-mail to someone on your team.

5. Committed to quality and safety. Your PCMH measures and improves performance to make sure you receive excellent care and have a positive experience.

Ask your primary care doctor how you can go home to a PCMH.

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