Medical Home for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs
A medical home is where primary care providers and families work together to improve health outcomes and quality of life for children and youth with special health care needs and their families. In Minnesota, medical homes are called Health Care Homes.
A Medical Home is family-centered. The foundation of family-centered care is the relationship between families and professionals in which:
- Families and professionals work together in the best interest of the child and family. As the child grows, the child assumes a partnership role.
- Everyone respects the skills and expertise brought to the relationship by all partners.
- Trust is acknowledged as fundamental.
- Communication and information sharing are open and objective.
- Participants make decisions together.
- There is willingness to negotiate.
A great Medical Home:
- Knows its patients.
- Partners with and learns from children and families.
- Uses a team approach for the care of chronic conditions, which includes planned, proactive visits.
- Coordinates services.
- Co-manages with families and specialists.
- Assists with transitions.
- Provides connections with community organizations.
- Is satisfying for families, providers, and clinic staff.
What can parents do to create a medical home for their child?
- Ask to interview potential new primary care providers.
- Choose a primary care provider who will: provide well care, sick care, help you coordinate your child's chronic care needs, and see you as a partner in decisions about your child's care.
- Be an active partner in your child's care: Write down questions, concerns, and observations about your child to share with all health care providers.
- Think about your family's goals for your child and talk about these goals with providers so your goals can help guide the care.
- Ask the provider to help develop a care plan for your child. A care plan is a great tool that can help you and all your child's health care providers, school staff, and others understand your child's needs and communicate better.