Choosing a Quality Medical Home
Children Need Comprehensive Consistent
From minor coughs to serious illnesses, there comes
a time in every child's life when he or she needs medical
attention. But, when non-emergency ailments such as
colds, fevers, and ear infections arise, too many families
head to the Emergency Room (ER) because they don't
have a primary care provider. When children don't have
a primary care doctor or nurse, they fail to receive
the comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated care
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that
all children and youth have a Medical
Home where they receive regular care from clinicians
who know their medical history. According to the 2003
National Survey of Children's Health, more than half
of children in North Carolina do not have a Medical
Home. Data indicates that less than half saw a regular
doctor or nurse that year.
What is a Medical Home?
A Medical Home is a doctor's office, clinic or health
department where the staff knows the child, the child's
family, and the child's health history. From well visits
like checkups and immunizations to sick visits, accidents,
and special health needs, a Medical Home is where parents
can turn for help in caring for their child during
office or after-office hours.
What are the Benefits of a Medical Home
When children and youth have a quality medical home,
everybody wins. Patients and families feel more satisfied
with their care. There is an efficient use of resources
and fewer non-emergency cases in the ER. Families receive
important health information and get connected with
How Does One Choose a Quality Medical Home?
Families should choose a Medical Home with a healthcare
professional they trust - someone who respects them
as a partner in their child's care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says a quality
Medical Home should be:
- Accessible - Care is
provided in the child's community and accepts all
insurance, including Medicaid.
- Family-centered - Health
professionals respect the family as the principal
- Continuous - The same
primary healthcare professionals are available from
infancy through adolescence.
- Comprehensive- Health
care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and
addresses preventive, basic and specialized consultative
- Coordinated - Families
are linked to support, educational and community-based
- Compassionate - Concern
for the well-being of the child and family is demonstrated.
- Culturally-competent -
The family's cultural background is recognized, valued
How Can You Help?
By distributing Medical Home brochures and bookmarks,
you can link families with resources they need. A new
bilingual (English/Spanish) bookmark called "Choosing
a Quality Medical Home,"
now available from the North Carolina Healthy Start
Foundation, lists the questions that parents may ask
when selecting a quality Medical Home. These materials
benefit new or expectant parents, families of children
and youth with special health care needs, children
newly enrolled in Health Check or NC Health Choice
and families from minority communities.
To view Medical Home materials, see links below. To
order materials, click here.
This Campaign was developed in partnership with the
the Medical Home approach
Choosing a Quality Medical Home
of Medical Home Materials
Association of Pediatrics Web Site
National Survey of Children's Health 2003
Click here to
order free educational materials.
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