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Discussion on the Implementation of the Patient Centred Medical Home model - Experiences from Australia


Safa Majidi Rahbar ,

North Coast Primary Health Network, AU
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Dan Ewald,

North Coast Primary Health Network, AU
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Tony Lembke

North Coast Primary Health Network, AU
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Introduction: Different practitioners and academics have been working on the application of the Patient Centred Medical Home (PCMH) model within the Australian context for many years. In early 2016, the Commonwealth government of Australia announced plans to establish Health Care Homes throughout the country based off the PCMH model, beginning with trial sites focused on the bundling of payments. As a result, the number of Primary Health Networks, policy makers and general practices receptive to establishing Health Care Homes is growing rapidly.

The time is ripe to identify how best the elements of the model translate into the Australian context and how to implement its elements with success.

As a contribution to the opportunity for a widespread implementation, the North Coast Primary Health Network is engaged in a project to build capacity in general practices to transition into Health Care Homes. The main outcomes of this project include:

1. Preparing “The Australian Handbook for Transitioning to Health Care Homes”

A resource which will provide a rationale for transitioning to a HCH, milestones for transitioning along a continuum and tools for practice and practice support for establishing the model in general practice. Thus developing capacity to train ‘change facilitators’ to work to accompany transitioning practices.

2. Establishment of a National Network of Patient Centred HCH Collaborators

Made up of PHN representatives, experts and policy makers working in the PCMH development space. Focused on improving advocacy effectiveness, knowledge sharing and keeping stakeholders up to date with unfolding developments.

3. Increasing local preparedness and interest for establishing HCHs

Focused on propagation of development of interest locally for transitioning practices into HCHs. A local network of practitioners and collaborators informed of project updates and HCH learning and development opportunities in the region.

4. Local trial and adaptation of PCMH model to Australian context

Trial and evaluation of tools for transitioning practices to HCHs using an action based research approach, leading to improvements in the handbook.

Workshop objective: To share insights and facilitate a structured discussion about practical experience in implementing the elements of the Patient Centred Medical Home, tools that have been effective, challenges that have emerged and approaches used to overcome these challenges. Discussion generated through the workshop will be used to inform further work on the Australian Handbook for Transitioning to the Health Care Home.

Workshop outcome: As a result of the workshop it is anticipated that participants will have an increased understanding of the medical home model, hear rich implementation experiences from different contexts and become aware of further tools for model implementation and refinement.

Workshop structure:

- Brief overview of model implementation taking place in Australia

- Smaller group discussion about medical home implementation challenges and successes

- Structured workshop group discussion drawing together key insights, common challenges and practical steps, resources or further research needed for address these challenges.

Target audience:

Policy makers, Primary Health Networks/Organisations, clinicians, practice staff and anyone interested in how to support practices to transition into Medical Homes

How to Cite: Rahbar SM, Ewald D, Lembke T. Discussion on the Implementation of the Patient Centred Medical Home model - Experiences from Australia. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(3):A134. DOI:
Published on 11 Jul 2017.


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