A recent brief in the Journal of the American Medical Association argues that the patient-centered model is gaining international evidence and support. The brief cites a recent international study by the Commonwealth Fund that, every three years, surveys adults with complex medical care needs about their medical experiences. The survey, which includes patients from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, found that patients report greater satisfaction and better coordinated care when their physicians are:
- knowledge about the patient’s medical history, and
- involved in the coordination of care.
Although there is no definitive definition of patient-centered care, it appears that that the most effective medical care is integrated and coordinated at the level of primary care (whether in a medical home or a physician’s office) and is culturally and personally appropriate for the individual patient. Studies such as that conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, and from agencies and groups such as the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, will hopefully build a body of research evidence that can be use as the basis for affordable and effective medical care.