The PCMH Model

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model

The PCMH Model is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth and adults.  It represents a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients, and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, the patient’s family.

The “medical home” concept was first introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1967.  This initial model subsequently adapted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American College of Physicians (ACP) into the form now known as the PCMH.  There are several core principals included in the PCMH model.

  • Personal Physician – each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care.
  • Physician-Directed Medical Practice – the personal physician leads a team of individuals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for the ongoing care of patients.
  • Whole Person Orientation – the personal physician is responsible for providing for all the patient’s health care needs or taking responsibility for appropriately arranging care with other qualified professionals. This includes care for all stages of life; acute care; chronic care; preventive services; and end of life care.
  • Integrated, Coordinated Care – all elements of the complex health care system (e.g., subspecialty care, hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes) and the patient’s community (e.g., family, public and private community-based services) are integrated. Care is facilitated by registries, information technology, health information exchange and other means to assure that patients get the indicated care when and where they need and want it in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Enhanced Access – care is available through systems such as open scheduling, expanded hours and new options for communication between patients, their personal physician, and practice staff.
  • Emphasis on Quality and Safety – tools and measurements are put in place at the practice level to ensure the best outcomes for patients and families.

We believe the quality-control methods and care coordination strategies included in the PCMH will become increasingly important as the nature of healthcare delivery in the United States continues to evolve.  As such, each of our Family Medicine Clinics is actively engaged in practice improvement programs, which facilitate the implementation and evaluation of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

In 2013, UAMS West was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Care facility (the highest level). In addition, our facility as a whole and two faculty members – Dr. Katherine Irish-Clardy and Dr. Elisa Spradlin, have been recognized by the NCQA for Quality Care in Diabetes.  Read more in this Times Record business article.