The development of new models of healthcare should constantly be encouraged, due to the fact that there is much room for improvement when it comes to treatment costs and effectiveness. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is one of these initiatives.
The PCMH has evolved in recent years as health IT has become more commonplace in a variety of different healthcare settings. In these facilities, the partnerships between patients, their families and physicians are considered to be critical as an individual receives medical treatment. It differs from a traditional care model because it relies on a team to achieve better outcomes.
In order for the PCMH model to be successful, however, facilities must boast rigorous health IT tools. These systems allow different team members to share healthcare information and better treat patients.
These facilities must also strive to achieve 10 core measures identified by the Commonwealth Fund, a research foundation. These first-of-their-kind metrics assess PCMH facilities on how well they manage chronic disease, patient safety, total monthly costs and more. Considering that 42 states already have PCMH initiatives, a standardized method for evaluating these facilities could prove to be extremely valuable.
"The medical home model includes core components of primary and patient-centered care, recent innovations in practice redesign and health information technology and changes to the way practices and providers are paid," according to the report.
These models can be of particular importance to those facilities that provide structured long-term care, especially as millions of Baby Boomers reach retirement age in the next 20 years. By partnering with a long-term care consultant or healthcare IT consulting service, a facility can integrate vital advanced technological tools into its current processes, which should ultimately streamline care for patients.