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medical home implementation, primary care, self-efficacy, social learning



  1. Hoff, Timothy
  2. Scott, Sarah


Background: The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care is central to primary care system success and transformation. Less is known about which PCMH activities primary care workers most frequently perform, if or why they might view that work more favorably, and how such work may function strategically to advance individual and organizational adaptation to new demands, as well as deliver good patient care.


Purpose: Understanding better how primary care physicians and staff perceive, experience, and use certain types of PCMH work for adapting to new demands looms a key imperative for gaining insights into PCMH implementation at the workplace level.


Methods: Using a worker adaptation perspective that emphasizes the role of social learning and individual agency, this study explores the strategic nature of PCMH implementation through 51 in-depth interviews with physicians and staff in six accredited PCMHs.


Findings: Select medical home activities were identified, in which primary care physicians and staff most engaged on a daily basis, and they fell into five distinct PCMH work domains labeled team care, medical home responsibilities, care management, access, and medication management. These activities had common features such as high levels of familiarity, simplicity, and camaraderie. In addition, through their experiences performing these activities, physicians and staff appeared to gain strategic benefits for themselves and the larger organization including enhanced self-efficacy and readiness for change.


Conclusions: The findings show that particular forms of PCMH work not only advance patient care in favorable ways but also enhance individual and organizational capacity for adapting to this innovative model and its demands. This knowledge adds to our understanding of how to implement PCMH care in ways that are good for workers, primary care organizations, and patients and offers practical guidance as to which forms of PCMH work should be encouraged, incented, and rewarded.