Patient-Centered Medical Home: Meaning and Relevance to Nurses

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Recently, health care providers and policy makers have been focusing on patient care coordination. This is due in part because care fragmentation is a reality for many individuals as they move from one health care setting to another. Even though some people move smoothly between the hospitals and long-term care facilities or their own homes, not all transitions of care go well. Kripalani, Jackson, Schnipper, and Coleman (2007) believe that about half of all people discharged from a hospital experience some sort of medical error. The most common problems relate to medication management, lab testing, and medical treatment follow-up. Kripalini and associates suggest that enhancing continuity of care can reduce patient problems, errors, and decrease medical costs (2007). One method for improving coordination of patients’ transitioning is through the use of what is called “patient-centered medical home” (American Hospital Association Research Committee, 2010). Patient-centered medical home represents a setting which assists with the coordination of care and financial reimbursement across what can be very complex health care settings like hospitals, outpatient clinics, long term care facilities, and patient homes.

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