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AAP and the National Center for Medical Home Implementation Publish Study Documenting Pediatric Practices that Succeed in Family-Centered Care

5/28/2013 For Release: May 28, 2013

A study illustrating how pediatric primary medical care is evolving into family-centered care featuring partnerships between families and providers was released today by the National Center for Medical Home Implementation (NCMHI) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The monograph, “Positioning the Family and Patient at the Center: A Guide to Family and Patient Partnership in the Medical Home,” is published online at

The monograph, a report that includes case studies as well as a literature review and a discussion of policy implications, was created by AAP and NCMHI to serve as a resource to pediatricians who are considering implementing the patient- and family-centered medical home model in their practices.

According to the monograph, under this model, a practice works with its patients and families to provide comprehensive care to patients, ensuring that all of the medical and non-medical needs of patients are met. Case studies were conducted on the medical home strategies and procedures of 17 pediatric primary care practices located in Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Vermont, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Alaska, Wisconsin, Oregon, Massachusetts and New Mexico. These practices were nominated by their peers as exemplary family-centered medical homes.

“The practice of medicine is changing dramatically for the better as physicians increasingly adopt family-centered care,” said Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. “Doctors are partnering with patients and families in a process known as ‘shared decision-making.’ This means that physicians thoroughly explain the factors that led to a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment options. Patients and families are then encouraged to carefully consider all of their choices and to discuss them with the doctor to arrive at a mutually acceptable plan.

“Numerous studies have shown that this process leads to greatly improved outcomes of care for the patient,” Dr. McInerny said. “Patients are encouraged to seek out physicians who practice in a family-centered manner in order to optimize their health care.”

The monograph reports that practices that partner with families:

  • acknowledge the family as the constant in a child’s life;
  • build on family strengths;
  • support the child in learning about and participating in care and decision-making;
  • honor cultural diversity and family traditions;
  • recognize the importance of community-based services;
  • promote an individual and developmental approach;
  • encourage family-to-family and peer support;
  • support youth as they transition to adulthood;
  • develop policies, practices and systems that are family-friendly and family-centered;
  • and celebrate successes.

“We were prepared to see the case studies featured in this monograph document practice improvements such as greater use of health information technology, enhanced access to medical professional staff outside regular office hours, and some form of feedback capturing patient/family experience with care,”  said Nora Wells, co-director of the National Center for Parent-Professional Partnerships in Family Voices. “What we did not expect to see, however, is the amazing breadth and depth of the collaborative efforts these practices have in place.”

The monograph will be promoted to AAP members, other pediatric clinicians, family leadership organizations, policymakers, and other national, state and local healthcare organizations.



About the AAP:

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

About the NCMHI:

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation (NCMHI) is a cooperative agreement between the AAP and the US Department of Health and Human Service, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The mission of the NCMHI is to work in cooperation with federal agencies, particularly the MCHB, and other partners and stakeholders to ensure that all children and youth, including children with special needs, have access to a medical home, where health care services are accessible, family-centered, continuous, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally competent. For more information, visit

About the author of the monograph:

Rebecca A Malouin, PhD, MPH, is assistant professor and director of the Primary Care Research and Evaluation Program in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. For more information, visit the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine website at

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