Four doctors groups that provide the majority of primary care to patients in the U.S. have released a set of principles to guide the establishment of a so-called patient-centered medical home. The model of a medical home, outlined by primary-care groups such as the American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Physicians, calls for coordinated care and stronger links in the relationship between the physician and a well-informed patient.
The ACP and AAFP, joined by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Osteopathic Association, outlined a set of seven principles to foster this new relationship between doctor and patient, including the adoption of coordinated and integrated care across all elements of the healthcare system. Care should be aided by registries, information technology and other means to ensure that patients receive appropriate care, according to the statement by the doctors groups.
These principles define and articulate the healthcare environment our patients need and wantwhere patients have a relationship with a doctor who knows them, their medical history and their family, said Larry Fields, a family physician who is board chairman of the AAFP. The principles also describe a system where doctors and other healthcare professionals provide comprehensive and continuous care in an environment that nurtures patient-physician collaboration, improves quality and is cost-effective, he said.
The personal physician should lead a team of individuals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for the care of patients, and also should be responsible for whole-person orientation, including arranging for appropriate care with other qualified professionals at all stages of life and across the healthcare continuum, according to the principles.