HealthDay News – The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care is associated with quality improvements compared with care provided by clinicians using paper medical records or electronic health records (EHRs), researchers have found.

“The patient-centered medical home  model of primary care is being implemented widely, although its effects on quality are unclear,” wrote Lisa M. Kern, MD, MPH, from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues. Their findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The cohort study included 675 primary-care clinicians in 312 practices and involved 143,489 patients. Inspectors compared the quality of care provided by health-care practitioners in PCMHs with that of clinicians that used paper medical record or EHRs without PCMHs.

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For four of 10 quality measures (eye examinations and hemoglobin A1c testing for patients with diabetes; chlamydia screening; and colorectal cancer screening), the PCMH group improved significantly more over time than did the paper group or the EHR group (adjusted P<0.05 for each). The odds of overall quality improvements were 7% and 6% higher in the PCMH group compared with the paper and EHR group, respectively (adjusted P<0.01 for each).

“The PCMH was associated with modest quality improvement,” reported the researchers. “The aspects of the PCMH that drive improvement are distinct from but may be enabled by the EHR.”