PCMH Overview

The Patient-Centered Medical Home

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, adolescents, and adults. The PCMH is a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between patients and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, the patient's family.

This definition was laid out by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association in the 2007 Joint Principles for the Patient Centered Medical Home. This defines critical principles within the PCMH model:

  • Access to a personal physician who leads the care team within a medical practice
  • A whole-person orientation to providing patient care
  • Integrated and coordinated care
  • Focus on quality and safety

Through the medical home model, practices seek to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the care they deliver, and to ensure that the activities within the practice are focused on meeting patient needs first. The PCMH model seeks to foster a relationship of trust between the care team and the patient, and to actively engage patients as partners in their health care.

The AAFP's PCMH resources give you step-by-step project plans and tools to:

  • Start emailing with patients, and get paid for it
  • Put practice finances in order
  • Put a clinical data system in place
  • Offer same-day appointments

PCMH Planner

Start From Where You Are

Follow the steps to a Patient-Centered Medical Home with the PCMH Planner, an online resource from the AAFP.

Learn More »

PCMH Initiatives

With information on:

  • The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative
  • Delta-Exchange
  • The PCMH Planner

Practice Organization

Get the guidance you need on:

  • Developing and revising job descriptions
  • Creating organizational structure policies
  • Budgeting and forecasting

Health Information Technology

Information includes:

  • Implementing emailing with your patients
  • Electronic prescribing
  • Verifying the capabilities of your EHR

Quality Care

Learn more about:

  • Data-collecting systems
  • Using data systems to improve care

Patient-Centered Care


  • Implementing same-day appointments
  • Developing your practice's online presence
  • Assessing patient satisfaction
  • Patient self-management

Join a free collaborative online network committed to practice transformation. Learn more about Delta-Exchange.

This Patient-Centered Medical Home section of the AAFP web site was supported in part by a grant from Merck & Co.