Table 4.

Characteristics of the New Model of Family Medicine

Personal medical homeThe practice serves as a personal medical home for each patient, ensuring access to comprehensive, integrated care through an ongoing relationship
Patient-centered carePatients are active participants in their health and health care. The practice has a patient-centered, relationship-oriented culture that emphasizes the importance of meeting patients’ needs, reaffirming that the fundamental basis for health care is “people taking care of people”65
Team approachAn understanding that health care is not delivered by an individual, but rather by a system,66 which implies a multidisciplinary team approach for delivering and continually improving care for an identified population41,67
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.68 A standardized electronic health record (EHR), adapted to the specific needs of family physicians, constitutes the central nervous system of the practice
Redesigned officesOffices should be redesigned to meet changing patient needs and expectations, to accommodate innovative work processes, and to ensure convenience, comfort, and efficiency for patients and clinicians
Whole-person orientationA visible commitment to integrated, whole-person care through such mechanisms as developing cooperative alliances with services or organizations that extend beyond the practice setting, but which are essential for meeting the complete range of needs for a given patient population.38 The practice has the ability to help guide a patient through the health care system by integrating care—not simply coordinating it
Care provided within a community contextA culturally sensitive, community-oriented, population-perspective focus
Emphasis on quality and safetySystems are in place for the ongoing assessment of performance and outcomes and for implementation of appropriate changes to enhance quality and safety
Enhanced practice financeImproved practice margins are achieved through enhanced operating efficiencies and new revenue streams
Commitment to provide family medicine’s basket of servicesA commitment to provide patients with family medicine’s full basket of services—either directly or indirectly through established relationships with other clinicians