The Patient's Medical Home

In 2011, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) presented the Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) as a vision for primary care in Canada.  The goal of the PMH is for every family practice in every community across Canada to be able to offer comprehensive, coordinated, and continuing care to their populations through a family physician working with an interprofessional health care team. This vision is anchored by goals that are ‘pillars” of the PMH.

In Ontario, the ten PMH pillars are realized through family medicine practices in various primary care models. Family Health Teams (FHTs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and the Rural and Northern Physician Group Agreement (RNPGA) most closely resemble the overall concept of the PMH, however most family physicians in Ontario do not practice in these types of models. Although FHTs, CHCs and the RNPGA most closely resemble the PMH concept in Ontario, features of a PMH can be found in all other practice models in Ontario through implementation of the pillars.

With significant health care transformation in primary care underway in Ontario, this is an important time to examine the pillars of the PMH to understand how to advance them within the changing environment. In 2015 the OCFP launched a three-part policy initiative about the PMH in Ontario, which included a Citizen’s Panel and then a Stakeholder Dialogue, both in partnership with McMaster Health Forum, followed by a PMH Symposium with family physicians. Reports from these events can be found here.

Ten Pillars of The Patient's Medical Home

  1. Patient-centred care
  2. Personal family physician
  3. Team-based care
  4. Timely access
  5. Comprehensive care
  6. Continuity of care
  7. Electronic medical record
  8. Education, training, and research
  9. Evaluation and quality improvement
  10. Internal and external supports

Links and Resources