Homing In on the Medical Home

Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media , March 2, 2012

When the IT infrastructure is in place and doctors are on board, physician practices and healthcare systems preparing to launch a medical home should take five steps, "because we are transforming practices into the patient home-centered model," said Ewa Matuszewski, CEO of Medical Network One, a physicians' services organization based in Rochester, MI.

  • Appraise your practice's readiness for change: Does the culture frown on innovation or see a need for a
    new approach?
  • Evaluate the people who will be part of the medical home team: Are key players resistant, and if so can they be won over?
  • Identify a medical home champion from within the practice
  • Create a mission and vision for the new medical home
  • Create a specific project plan

So what comes after the PCMH? St. Joseph executives envision a patient-centered medical neighborhood on the near horizon. A collection of PCMHs within a single healthcare system would dovetail nicely with accountable care organization requirements. The medical home is a critical step to achieving ACO status, Penrose said. The PCMH is designed to foster collaboration with physicians across the continuum of care and is the most efficient model for adopting clinical IT with both hospitals and physician offices. And so, after 45 years, the PCMH model is finding a home at a time when coordinated and accountable care is becoming increasingly relevant.

This article appears in the February 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Edward Prewitt is the Editorial Director of HealthLeaders Media.

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