The Patient-Centered Medical Home: An Ethical Analysis of Principles and Practice
ABSTRACT The patient-centered medical home (PCMH), with its focus on patient-centered care, holds promise as a way to reinvigorate the primary care of patients and as a necessary component of health care reform. While its tenets have been the subject of review, the ethical dimensions of the PCMH have not been fully explored. Consideration of the ethical foundations for the core principles of the PCMH can and should be part of the debate concerning its merits. The PCMH can align with the principles of medical ethics and potentially strengthen the patient-physician relationship and aspects of health care that patients value. Patient choice and these ethical considerations are central and at least as important as the economic and practical arguments in support of the PCMH, if not more so. Further, the ethical principles that support key concepts of the PCMH have implications for the design and implementation of the PCMH. This paper explores the PCMH in light of core principles of ethics and professionalism, with an emphasis both on how the concept of the PCMH may reinforce core ethical principles of medical practice and on further implications of these principles.
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ABSTRACT: There is a strong push in the United States to evaluate whether the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model produces desired results. The explanatory and contextually based questions of how and why PCMH succeeds in different practice settings are often neglected. We report the development of a comprehensive, mixed qualitative-quantitative evaluation set for researchers, policy makers, and clinician groups. To develop an evaluation set, the Brown Primary Care Transformation Initiative convened a multidisciplinary group of PCMH experts, reviewed the PCMH literature and evaluation strategies, developed key domains for evaluation, and selected or created methods and measures for inclusion. The measures and methods in the evaluation set (survey instruments, PCMH meta-measures, patient outcomes, quality measures, qualitative interviews, participant observation, and process evaluation) are meant to be used together. PCMH evaluation must be sufficiently comprehensive to assess and explain both the context of transformation in different primary care practices and the experiences of diverse stakeholders. In addition to commonly assessed patient outcomes, quality, and cost, it is critical to include PCMH components integral to practice culture transformation: patient and family centeredness, authentic patient activation, mutual trust among practice employees and patients, and transparency, joy, and collaboration in delivering and receiving care in a changing environment. This evaluation set offers a comprehensive methodology to enable understanding of how PCMH transformation occurs in different practice settings. This approach can foster insights about how transformation affects critical outcomes to achieve meaningful, patient-centered, high-quality, and cost-effective sustainable change among diverse primary care practices. © 2015 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.The Annals of Family Medicine 03/2015; 13(2):168-75. DOI:10.1370/afm.1765 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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