What is a Medical Home?
A Medical Home is “the provision of integrated, accessible healthcare services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal healthcare needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.” (Source: Institute Of Medicine, “Primary Care: America’s Health in a New Era,” 1996)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) introduced the Medical Home concept in 1967, which at that time referred only to a central location for archiving a child’s medical record. The AAP expanded its policy in 2002, so that the concept would refer to primary care that emphasizes timely access to medical services, enhanced communication between patients and their healthcare team, coordination and continuity of care by the clinician, and an intensive focus on quality and safety.
Integrated Care for Your Young Adult
To build an effective Medical Home team there is collaboration and partnership among primary, specialty, and subspecialty providers, as well as community providers and programs serving youth with special healthcare needs and their families. Your primary care physician, or a healthcare professional in her/his office, acts as the central care coordinator, orchestrating the various services and treatments your child or adolescent needs. The medical home is the care coordination center for both pediatric and adult medical needs and other services.
The Parent is Also a Care Coordinator
While the primary care physician is the cornerstone of the team you are building, the effort you as a parent or guardian apply to the overall coordination of quality care for your son or daughter is of great importance. Typically parents keep track of all services, needs, appointments, communications with physicians and others but may choose to share some of these responsibilities, especially related to healthcare.