In its quest to provide Americans with quality, affordable and easily accessible primary care services, the Agency for Healthcare, Research and Quality has realized that this task can only be achieved by stimulating the country’s primary healthcare. Primary care is divided into many related topics and this paper will dwell on Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Research Initiatives.
Patient Centered Medical Home
Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) or advanced primary care, the health care home is the most formidable strategy in reforming and streamlining the way primary care is administered. The definition of the medical home has shifted from just being a site to a model of arrangement that meets its mandates and responsibilities. The mandate of PCMH is divided into five categories.
Comprehensive care involves the provision of physical and mental health care demands that encompass prevention, severe and constant care. In meeting this demand, PCMH requires resources that include: doctor and their assistants, professional and ordinary nurses, pharmacists, nutritional experts, education providers a, and community social workers (Holingsworth 2011).
PCMH provides primary care that puts maximum attention on the patient. To be conversant with the unique needs of each patient, which include religious believes, likes and dislikes and culture, it collaborates with the patient and family members. Providing the right information to these partners is recognizing the vital role they play in provision of healthcare.
PCMH harmonizes care across all domains that include particular care, health care centers, and community input. The coordination is vital in cases of movement from one point of care to another. Establishing clear communication channels between the patient, family, and the facility is also part of the strategies in achieving the desired goal.
Making heath care accessible is another core function of PCMH. It achieves this by availing urgent care for acute cases, prolonged consultations, 24/7 access to medical care professional through telephone and email. Quality and safety is achieved by using proved drugs and utilizing decision making tools to guide decisions that require the input of patient and family (Holingsworth 2011). Success of such approaches is determined by patient satisfaction and opinion.
Since its inception, PCMH has moved from an idea to reality. The support of the government and the private sector coupled with opportunities brought about by information technology has strengthened this system. PCMH is necessitated by factors such as spiraling costs, progress in the field of diagnosis, an increasing aging citizenry, evolving treatment techniques and increasing need for long term medical care (Holingsworth 2011).
Health IT has opened new possibilities in PCMH in that it simplified the manner in which data is collected, analyzed, stored and exchanged between relevant authorities. IT has also made communication between the patient and provider easier and efficient cutting on time and distance. It also facilitates the dissemination of information to patients regarding their health and medical state in order to achieve personal management with support from providers.
Continued research by the agency for human health care research and quality (AHRQ) ensures that the best and most efficient form of health IT is utilized to achieve the best results from PCMH. Of key interest to AHRQ is to merge health IT with electronic health registers in the implementation and management of PCMH. The beneficial relationship between health IT and PCMH will massively alter the way primary health care is provided.