Ann M. Mirabito, Baylor University
Leonard L. Berry, Texas A&M University
Critics of the American healthcare system recite a long list of problems: rising out-of-pocket costs, inconvenient access, overuse of emergency departments, uncoordinated medical records, and declining numbers of primary care doctors. To address these issues, some new venues have evolved, such as retail and urgent care clinics, but the emergency department has become the only service provider available to all patients on a 24/7 basis. It is time to reinvent the system. The concept of patient-centered medical homes offers a structure for integrating innovations that can transform the delivery of healthcare. In this model, each patient develops an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician supported by a team of caregivers. An integral feature is the electronic medical record, which facilitates coordinated communication and decisions. Access expands beyond the traditional physician office visit to satellite services tailored to individual needs. Services center on whole-person care, including wellness and preventive counseling as well as acute and chronic care. Adoption of the patient-centered medical home transforms healthcare delivery into a system that benefits everyone.
* This paper is published in Business Horizons, March/April 2010, pp. 157-169.