What is Family Medicine?
Trained in all areas of medicine, family physicians can diagnose and treat the full range of problems people typically bring to their doctors. They know how to care for you and, if necessary, when to bring in another specialist you can trust.
Family physicians are experts in prevention, treating most acute illnesses and helping people effectively manage chronic medical problems. They are at the center of your care, coordinating and guiding you through what can be a very confusing and fragmented health care system. Regular visits to a family physician have even been shown to lower the overall costs of health care and improve the health of the people they serve when compared to similar groups who only receive care from subspecialists.
Family physicians are also the only medical specialists who practice everywhere that Americans live and in a relatively equal proportion. They are the backbone of the community health system and are trained to take care of most health care needs, regardless of age or gender. If it were not for family physicians currently in practice, the majority of counties in the U.S. would become health professions shortage areas.
Most importantly, your family physician is trained to provide comprehensive care through all the stages of your life. They take care of the physical, mental and emotional health of both their patients and their patients’ families and they know your family’s health history and how it can affect you.
The Emory Family Medicine Clinic Dunwoody is beginning the process of transforming the way patient care is delivered to offer more accessible, efficient, and patient-centered care.
What is the Patient and Family-Centered Medical Home Model of Healthcare delivery?
Most people are aware of the national conversation on healthcare delivery system reform to improve the health of populations and the experience of care, and to reduce the per capita cost of care. The Emory Department of Family and Preventive Medicine passionately believes in the Patient and Family-Centered Medical Home (PFCMH) model of care and is working toward incorporating all of the the core characteristics of this model.
Everyone should have a regular primary care provider, who knows their healthcare issues, respects their personal values, empowers them to understand and take control of their own health, coordinates and facilitates specialty care as needed. A community-based PFCMH utilizing Family Physicians and their team of providers, based in the patients’ home or work community, considers not just the whole person, but how their family and community impacts and is impacted by their health issues. The PFCMH model of health care delivery is driven by what patients and their families value most. Most patients want convenient and timely access, and the knowledge, skills, and support for as much self-management as possible.
The Patient and Family-Centered Medical Home model incorporates the process of community-oriented primary care and the concept of the Advanced Medical Home. The key concept that underpins the new Medical Home model is the relationship-centered personal medical home for all patients, which serves as the focal point through which all individuals participate in their health care. The personal medical home includes a necessary and consistent set of acute, chronic, and preventive medical care services that are accessible, accountable, comprehensive, integrated, patient-centered, safe, scientifically valid, and satisfying to both patients and their physicians.
As Dr. Donald Berwick, President of the Institute for Health Care Improvement states "Patient-Centered Care is exactly the help I need and want exactly when I need and want it."
If you would like to know more about the role of primary care in healthcare reform, a recent ABC News video clip about the Mayo Clinic experience is available at the following link: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7302887
If you would like to learn more about the Patient and Family-Centered Medical Home model of care, the following link to the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (http://www.pcpcc.net/) to a short video, produced by the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative and Emmi Solutions, provides an introduction to the concept of the Patient and Family-Centered Medical Home: