Table 8.

Characteristics of a New Model Family Medicine Practice

Patient-centered carePatients are active participants in their health and health care. The practice has a customer service orientation that embraces the importance of meeting patients’ needs, reaffirming that the fundamental basis for health care is “people taking care of people.”72
Whole-person orientationA visible commitment to whole-person care through such mechanisms as developing cooperative alliances with services or organizations that extend beyond the practice setting, but are essential for meeting the complete range of needs for a given patient population.37 The practice has the ability to help guide a patient through the health care system by integrating their care—not simply coordinating it
A team approachAn understanding that health care is not delivered by an individual, but rather by a system,40 which translates to the development of a multidisciplinary team approach for delivering and continually improving care for an identified population.73
Elimination of barriers to accessElimination, to the extent possible, of barriers to access by patients through implementation of open scheduling, expanded office hours, and additional, convenient options for communication between patients and practice staff
Advanced information systemsThe ability to use an information system to deliver and improve care, to provide effective practice administration, to communicate with patients, to network with other practices, and to monitor the health of the community.74,75 A standardized electronic health record, adapted to the specific needs of family physicians, constitutes the central nervous system of the practice
Attractive, convenient, and functional officesOffice facilities that are attractive, convenient, and functional in order to meet a variety of patient needs and expectations
Focus on qualityOngoing assessment of performance and outcomes and implementation of appropriate changes to enhance quality
Equitable reimbursementPayment mechanisms that provide for equitable reimbursement for services from public and private payers