There was a good article in the May 2010 issues of Health Affairs written by Christine Bechtel and Debra Ness from the National Partnership for Women and Families. They commissioned a number of focus groups to assess patients' thoughts on what was most important when considering how care was delivered. The elements they reference are ones that fundamentally define a medical home. They were able to classify the attributes of care that patients seek into 4 categories:
- Whole person care. Treat the person – not the parts. This means understanding things about the patient that can't be described using an ICD 9 code; e.g. life situation, home environment, personal preferences.
- Coordination and communication. Patients and care givers want someone to coordinate their care and coach them through the system. Basically, patients want a general contractor responsible for overseeing all aspects of their health.
- Patient support and empowerment. Patients want to feel aligned and in partnership with their physician. They want to be part of the decision making process.
- Ready access. This is just basic customer service. Short wait times, email access, appointment availability, etc.
Link to the full blog post here.