What is a “Medical Home”?
A medical home is not a place or a building, but a way for doctors to provide health care. It is based on everyone working together as a team. One of the key ideas is that parents are equal members of the team. Parents are experts when it comes to their own child. They are a big part in their child’s life, and can often see “the big picture”.
Having a medical home means your child’s care is:
- Accessible. Care is provided when and where you need it. It also means that the doctor accepts your insurance. The location should be accessible by public transportation and everyone, including people with physical disabilities, is able to get in the building.
- Continuous. You see the same doctors when you are an infant up until you are a young adult. It also means the doctors will help young adults move into care as an adult with new doctors.
- Comprehensive. You get care when your sick and care to prevent you from becoming sick. It also means you are able to see a specialist as well as get other services when you need them.
- Coordinated. Your family, your child’s doctors and other service providers work as a team. They should create a plan of how to care for your child. This plan should be created with your family’s needs and goals in mind. Your child’s medical records should be kept in a central place at his/her primary doctor’s office.
- Compassionate. Your child’s doctors treat you and your family with respect and care. Having a child with complex medical needs can be difficult. Your child’s doctor should get to know you and be flexible when working with you.
- Culturally Effective. Your child’s doctors recognize and is sensitive to your family’s background and belief system.
- Family-centered. You know a lot because you are the main person caring for your child. The doctor should listen to you and use your knowledge when treating your child.
For more information about a medical home, see:
The Region 4 Genetics Collaborative has developed a guide for families of children with special health care needs called “Partnering with your Doctor: The Medical Home Approach”. This guide can be downloaded from their website at www.region4genetics.org.
The National Center for Medical Home Implementation website, www.medicalhomeinfo.org, offers families extensive information about what a medical home is and how to create one for your family.
The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative created an infographic to help you understand “What is a Patient-Centered Medical Home?”