Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Beyond checkboxes: A qualitative assessment of physicians' experiences providing care in a patient‐centred medical home

Early View

Abstract Rationale, aims, and objectives The patient‐centred medical home (PCMH) is an innovative approach to health care reform. Despite a well‐established process for recognizing PCMH practices, fidelity to, and/or adaptation of, the PCMH model can limit health care and population health improvements. This study explored the connection between fidelity/adaptation to the PCMH model with implementation successes and challenges through the experiences of family and internal medicine PCMH physicians. Methods Interviews were conducted at two academic PCMH clinics with faculty and resident physicians. Data were transcribed and coded on the basis of an a priori code list. Together, the authors reviewed text and furthered the analysis process to reach final interpretation of the data. Results Ten faculty and nine resident physicians from the Family Care Centre (FCC; n = 11) and the Internal Medicine Clinic (IMC; n = 8) were interviewed. Both FCC and IMC physicians spoke positively about their clinic's adherence to the PCMH model of enhanced access to care, coordinated/integrated care, and improvements in quality and safety through data collection and documentation. However, physicians highlighted inadequate staffing and clinic hours. FCC physicians also discussed the challenge of providing high‐quality care amidst differences in coverage between payers. Conclusion There remains significant variability in PCMH characteristics across the United States and Canada. This qualitative analysis uncovered factors contributing to fidelity/adaptation to the PCMH model in two academic PCMH clinics. For the PCMH to achieve the Triple Aim promise of improved patient health and experience at a reduced cost, policy must support fidelity to core elements of the PCMH.

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