The Joint Commission in 2011 will offer a "Primary Care Home" option to ambulatory organizations for accreditation of their medical home programs.

Under the medical home model, primary care practices are designated patients' "medical home" to coordinate the continuum of care. The practices are redesigned to be more functional and workflow-friendly, and new processes are developed to focus on quality, safety and alternative reimbursement methods. The care model also calls for extensive use of health information technologies, including electronic health records, e-prescribing, clinical decision support, secure messaging and Web portal software.

The Primary Care Home initiative is an optional expansion of the Joint Commission's Ambulatory Care Accreditation Program and is consistent with health care reform goals to improve the coordination, quality and efficiency of care, according to the commission.

The commission in November will post standards for the initiative, followed with pilot testing in early 2011, final standards availability in March and on-site surveys starting in July. For more information, contact Michael Kulczycki at mkulczycki@jointcommission.org.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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