The patient-centered medical home and why it matters to health educators

Health Promot Pract. 2010 Sep;11(5):622-8. doi: 10.1177/1524839910378485.


The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is an approach to providing comprehensive care for children, youth, and adults in the primary care setting. PCMH emphasizes planned care, care coordination, family-centered approaches, and quality of care while also improving access to care and modernizing the care experience. Although health educators as a group have not traditionally focused their efforts on the primary care setting, the PCMH model increases the potential for their inclusion. Health educators, given their training and expertise, are likely to be well positioned to contribute to primary care oriented with a PCMH model. Health educator roles within PCMH that are especially relevant include participating in a team approach to care, attention to coordination and integration of care, and preventive and end-of-life care. Such roles may be realized in direct delivery of patient education such as health coaching, serving as a facilitator or connector to community resources, or involvement in practice or practice organization quality improvement and population-based assessment efforts. If implemented properly, the involvement of health educators in this new model of care has the potential to enhance how primary care is delivered, improve the health of Americans with regard to chronic conditions, and reduce related health care costs.

MeSH terms

  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Educators / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Professional Role
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration