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Building the Patient-Centered Hospital Home

White Papers


Hospitals across the country are looking for new and innovative ways to improve the delivery of healthcare in order to lower costs, increase patient satisfaction and enhance patient outcomes. With mounting evidence that the Patient-Centered Medical Home model is effective on all of these fronts, hospitals should consider applying the principles of this primary care model to the inpatient hospital setting.

This white paper will outline the history, goals and attributes, and successes of the Patient-Centered Medical Home model. It will explain why and how this model should be adapted to the hospital environment, introducing in a new concept for inpatient care: The Patient-Centered Hospital Home. Further, the paper will explore the benefits of the Hospital Home model, provide best practices for implementing this new approach to care, and explore relevant challenges and opportunities.

Understanding medical homes

The idea of a “medical home” entered the healthcare industry lexicon decades ago with the concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

A 2007 report called the “Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home,” defines the PCMH as “an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth and adults. The PCMH is a healthcare setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians and, when appropriate, the patient’s family.” Created by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP),the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Osteopathic Association, the report was intended to define the fundamental elements of a PCMH.

The PCMH term, however, originated back in 1967, when the AAP introduced it in reference to the physical location for storing a medical record. Before the AAP expanded the concept in 2002 to include the operational characteristics of a medical home—as providing accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective care—at least two reports, in the 1970s and 1990s, began to explore ideas around the role of primary care in promoting individual health.