ACP and SGIM find the PCMH model aligns with principles of medical ethics and professionalism

July 30, 2012

The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) explore the ethical dimensions of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) in a new position paper published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine: "The Patient-Centered Medical Home: An Ethical Analysis of Principles and Practice." The text is also available on ACP's website.

"The PCMH model of care aligns well with the traditional principles of and professionalism, including the duty to promote the good and act in the best interest of the patient, the duty to do no harm to the patient, and respect for patient autonomy," said David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president, ACP. "This position paper highlights some of the practical choices and implications of PCMH design and implementation that should be considered to ensure that this model of care becomes a key ingredient in better health care for patients."

In the paper, ACP and SGIM examine how the PCMH meets four fundamental ethical principles by facilitating:

  • a patient-centered approach to care, which reaffirms the core principles of medical ethics and professionalism
  • access to a personal physician who provides coordinated comprehensive care through an integrated team
  • involvement of patients, families, and caregivers in care, thereby supporting respect for patient wishes and autonomy
  • practice-based system improvement and explicit attention to quality
"The extent to which the practical implementation of the PCMH achieves ethical goals is likely to depend significantly on design features, such as the structure of and the measurement of and experience, quality of care and patient outcomes, cost of care, and further ," said Ann B. Nattinger, MD, MPH, president, SGIM.

Noting that many Americans are currently "medically homeless" and patients without access to care face a "perilous journey" as they try to navigate the health care system, the PCMH holds promise to substantively rectify this situation, bringing the system closer to the ideals of medical ethics and professionalism, ACP and SGIM say in the paper.

The organizations also note practical barriers to meeting some goals. For example, access to a personal physician responsible for coordination of care presents a challenge because of the shortage of primary care physicians.

ACP and SGIM say that the PCMH strongly supports the "bedrock principle" of because the concept of patient-centeredness that forms its foundation emphasizes patient engagement, provision of health information to patients, and involvement of patients in shared decision making.

By integrating system improvements into the practice environment, the PCMH could help physicians meet the ethical obligations for quality improvement and patient safety, ACP and SGIM say.

Explore further: Use of patient centered medical home features not related to patients' experience of care

More information: http://www.acponline.org/running_practice/ethics/issues/policy/

Related Stories

Use of patient centered medical home features not related to patients' experience of care

June 8, 2012
Providing patient care using key features of a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a model of health care delivery promoted by major physician groups, may not influence what patients think about the care they receive, reports ...

Internists say physician-led quality initiatives could be solution to Medicare payment problems

July 24, 2012
"Repeal of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is essential, but repeal by itself will not move Medicare to better ways to deliver care," David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), ...

ACP's Ethics Manual examines emerging issues in medical ethics

January 2, 2012
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has released the sixth edition of its Ethics Manual, published as a supplement to the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP's flagship journal, and available online at ...

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.