Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH): What Does That Mean?

If you are a patient at or community partner with Greater Family Health, you might have heard the staff talk about PCMH. You might have also seen the term in your patient package or our website. But what exactly does PCMH mean, and what does it mean for you as a patient?

PCMH stands for Primary Care Medical Home, a designation Greater Family Health worked hard to achieve in 2007. The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations, awarded this designation to Greater Family Health over 15 years ago. The PCMH designation means Greater Family Health is committed to providing comprehensive, coordinated, safe, and high-quality care, focusing on putting patients at the center of our work.

PCMH is a philosophy of care based on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s definition of a medical home. A medical home is a team-based approach to healthcare that emphasizes patient-centered care, comprehensive care, superb access to care, a systems-based approach to quality and safety, and coordinated care.

Patient-Centered Care: At Greater Family Health, patient-centered care means that our healthcare providers build relationships with their patients based on understanding and respecting each patient’s needs, culture, values, and preferences. This approach to care is relationship-based and focuses on the whole person.

Comprehensive Care: Comprehensive care means that a team of healthcare providers, including physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, behavioral health workers, social workers, and others, meet each patient’s physical and mental healthcare needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.

Superb Access to Care: Superb access to care means that patients can access services with shorter waiting times for urgent needs, enhanced in-person hours, around-the-clock telephone or electronic access to care team members, and alternative communication methods.

Systems-Based Approach to Quality and Safety: A systems-based approach to quality and safety means Greater Family Health uses evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools to provide safe and quality care. The organization engages in performance measurement and improvement, measures and response to patient experiences and satisfaction, practices population health management, and publicly shares robust quality and safety data and improvement activities.

Coordinated Care: Coordinated care means that care is coordinated across the broader healthcare system, including specialty care and the provision of community and support services. This is particularly critical during transitions between sites of care.

PCMH is an approach to healthcare that can help ensure that patients receive the care they need when they need it. Greater Family Health can improve the patient experience while reducing costs by taking a high-level approach to care. If you have any questions about PCMH or how it applies to your care, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider at Greater Family Health.

Related News