Perceptions of the medical home by parents of children with chronic illnesses.
OBJECTIVES: The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) strives to improve the quality of care in the primary care setting. Recently, certification programs for patient-centered coordinated care have expanded to subspecialty care. Children with chronic conditions are particularly in need of patient-centered and coordinated care. Our objective was to compare parent perceptions of PCMH elements at primary care and specialty practices for children receiving specialty care. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey study. METHODS: We surveyed the parents of children returning for specialty care in a hospital-based pediatric subspecialty clinic on the presence of National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) PCMH elements in their primary care practice and in their main specialty care practice. RESULTS: More parents perceived good appointment access at primary care practices than they did at specialty practices (93% vs 87%, respectively; P <.001). They perceived good care coordination and referral follow-up both at primary care and specialty practices (89% vs 88% and 92% vs 92%, respectively). However, parents less frequently perceived the presence of 7 other PCMH elements at primary care practices compared with specialty practices; these included appointment and tests due reminders, distributing handouts, electronic prescribing, sharing test results, surveying experiences, and e-mail capability. CONCLUSIONS: Despite an emphasis on PCMHs in primary care settings, parents of children seeking specialty care are more likely to perceive the presence of NCQA PCMH elements in specialty rather than primary care clinics. Future PCMH efforts should address parents' perceptions and interpretations of these services.
Vander Schaaf, EB; Dellon, EP; Carr, RA; deJong, NA; Skinner, AC; Steiner, MJ
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