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The Patient-Centered Medical Home. Is it a Snapshot into our IT Future?

October 28, 2009
by Jim Feldbaum, M.D.
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Are we really headed towards a new model or is it a fad that will burn out?

Where is all this talk of process improvement, reimbursement algorisms, and government intervention leading us? I hope towards better care and outcomes. Are we really headed towards a new model or is it a fad that will burn out when faced with the challenges of change. Although I am usually a proponent of incremental change when it comes to quality improvement I can be a zealot.

First, it is no longer much fun to be a primary care doc. Too little time to care for increasing complicated patients and too little pay for the effort. Medical students are headed to other specialties leaving primary care internships unfilled. Only 65% of patients under 65 report access to a primary care physician and a worsening shortage looms undeniably in our future. We fall short on preventive care (30%) and have little coordination between healthcare settings.

I bring this up in a blog for CIOs because IT and coordination between hospitals and practices is a key component. The EMR will be a critical component toward expediting adoption of this model. It will be good to keep in mind that the Medical Home may provide a snapshot into our IT future.

Here are a few good links:

Commonwealth fund

American Academy of Family Physicians



Jim, you bring up some very good points. I think that the alarming decreases in the number of primary care physicians is a critical matter that needs to be addressed, particularly if we're talking about sweeping healthcare reform. It's an issue that I think has been swept under the rug for too long, and it's only going to get worse as fewer med students chose primary care.

James Feldbaum

Jim Feldbaum is a physician consultant specializing in clinical transformation, CPOE, and...