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Basic E-Tools Of Medical Home

Posted Aug 06 2010 9:00am

Medical homes (or patient-centered medical home – PCMH), also known as, Connected Care, is designed to provide more comprehensive and personalized care coordination for patients to increase the access and quality of health care.

The technological advances in medicine and diagnostic tool and devices have made the concept of medical homes a reality. The tools include comprehensive organization of patient data, including personal histories imaging, test results, and other generic and biochemical data; personalized treatments based on the complete data recorded; comparison of sets between different populations; and so on. The basic philosophy of medial homes is to provide patient-centric care to improve both quality and reach out to more people and provide health care for everyone.

Features Of Medical Home

· Availability of a Personal physician at all times.

· Team of medical staff assigned by personal physician that is responsible for not only treating certain illness and conditions, but also managing routinely tests to prevent diseases.

· Integrated records across hospitals and other clinics through electronic medical record (EMR) facility.

· Increased access of patients to healthcare.

· Quality and safety of data.

Basic E-tools Of Medical Home

To make patient-centered care successful, various e-tools are required. These include integrated data in the form of electronic medical records (EMR) accessible by health care providers, hospital staff, billing department. EMR can be transferred or accessed easily by different hospitals or clinics. Clinical integration of data helps reduce redundancies and makes the flow of information smoother and reduces error rates. The information can be updated more easily. Also, education material can be provided for patients to make them aware about different conditions and illnesses.

E-prescribing and e-labs are also important tools of a medical home that take care of the patient’s tests in the medical home. Furthermore, it also improves communication between patients and health providers and aids in the process of quick decision-making. The advances in genomics, molecular modeling, and proteomics can be used to provide accurate data about the health condition of patients, and comparative data with other patients can help provide personalized treatment.

The workings of a PCMH are evaluated with the help of statistical tools to set, measure, and reward incentives based on the quality and outcome of the system. This helps assess the system and suggest ways to further optimize it so as to achieve more efficiency.

The role of patients is more proactive in this model and work along with the tools provided in managing and improving their health. This system sets up a framework wherein quality data, best health care practices are centralized and at the disposal of the system. With the automaton of medical data, improved information exchange, and availability of efficient analytic tools, optimization of quality care delivery is integrated right into the system.  Patients can today, and will further in the future, engage in self monitoring systems through the advancement of E-Health technologies in their homes.  Web enabled scales, GPS watches, and vitals recording devices are just a few of the technologies currently available.

The concept of a medical home shows promising results. The main goal of this system is to bring patients, health providers, and health plans together to work in collaboration. The objective is to reduce the burden on the health care system and to provide better treatment for patients.

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