Background The patient-centred medical home (PCMH) is a healthcare delivery model that aims to make health care more effective and affordable and to curb the rise in episodic care resulting from increasing costs and sub-specialisation of health care. Although the PCMH model has been implemented in many different healthcare settings, little is known about the PCMH in rural or underserved settings. Further, less is known about patients' understanding of the PCMH and its effect on their care. Aims The goal of this project was to ascertain the patient perspective of the PCMH and develop meaningful language around the PCMH to help inform and promote patients' participation with the PCMH. Method The High Plains Research Network Community Advisory Council (CAC) is comprised of a diverse group of individuals from rural eastern Colorado. The CAC and its academic partners started this project by receiving a comprehensive education on the PCMH. Using a community-based participatory research approach, the CAC translated technical medical jargon on the PCMH into a core message that the 'Medical Home is Relationship'. Results The PCMH should focus on the relationship of the patient with their personal physician. Medical home activities should be used to support and strengthen this relationship. Conclusion The findings serve as a reminder of the crucial elements of the PCMH that make it truly patient centred and the importance of engaging local patients in developing and implementing the medical home.
Keywords: community-based participatory research; patient-centred medical home; rural.