Working with Your Medical Home

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
–Robert Frost

The words “Medical Home” describe a new idea in health care. ICHP has put together a “Medical home” that will be taking care of your health needs. Our goal is to give you the best medical care and improve your health by working as a team. A Medical Home is an approach to health care that follows these basic principles:

  • Care is Accessible — you can get health care when you need it and where you need it.
  • Care is Collaborative — a team, not just one person, provides your health care.
  • Care is Person-Centered and Family-Centered — you are a part of making decisions about your health care.
  • Care is Continuous — you have a relationship with your team. Your health care team is with you for the long haul.
  • Care is Comprehensive — you get all the services you need through one door. Your PCMP and care coordinator will arrange for you to see specialists, mental health or other providers to keep you healthy.
  • Care is Coordinated — care coordinators will help you organize all of your appointments and visits.
  • Care is Compassionate — providers and staff treat you and your problems with respect and dignity
  • Care is Culturally Effective — you will get care in a place and from people who understand and respect your culture and language needs.

How Can You Work With Your Medical Home?

It is important to know that keeping yourself healthy is a partnership between you and your care providers. You can do several things to make this partnership successful.

  • Know the members of your health care team and how to contact them. Keep this information handy; sharing it with a family member or someone else you can trust.
  • Take charge of your health care and be assertive. Ask questions when you don’t understand what you need to do. Learn about your illness by asking your provider for other resources. If you disagree with your provider, say so. If it’s hard for you to be assertive, consider taking someone along to your appointments.
  • Stay organized. Keep your scheduled appointments and follow-up with any lab work or tests that are ordered for you.
  • Communicate actively. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, call in advance to notify your care provider. If your condition changes, tell your provider. Talk to your providers about your health goals and anything that might get in the way of achieving them.
  • Be honest with your health care team about what you are doing or not doing.
  • Follow directions carefully. When your doctor prescribes a medication, follow the instructions about when to take it and how much to take.
  • Be proactive. Tell your doctor about new symptoms, even if you think they might not be important. Good health starts with prevention. Dealing with problems when they are small can help save you time and discomfort.
  • Think about wellness, rather than sickness. You can improve your health and life satisfaction by making changes in your lifestyle. Consider changes such as quitting smoking, exercising more, eating more healthy foods, and stopping dangerous behaviors.

Take care of your mental health. If you are having problems with your mood, thoughts or behavior, tell your health care team. You may need to be evaluated for mental health treatment. Mental health is a need that is like any other health concern. There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed if you need this kind of help.