Patient Medical Home (PMH)

A PMH is a family practice defined as the place patients feel most comfortable to discuss their personal and health concerns. The Most Responsible Provider – usually the family doctor but sometimes the nurse practitioner– works collaboratively with a team of health professionals, either within or linked with the practice, to deliver longitudinal, comprehensive and co-ordinated care of patients.

In BC, the patient medical home is being recognized as the foundation on which to build a streamlined and accessible service to patients. The following illustration shows the framing of a patient medical home in BC.



The service attributes of a patient medical home are based on the framework and pillars created by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). Based on CFPC definitions, the 12 attributes of a patient medical home in BC support the overall goal of patient-centred, whole person care.To acknowledge the central role that networks of family physicians/patient medical homes will play through divisions and in their partnership with health authorities, the GPSC has added two attributes of a patient medical home: FP Networks Supporting Communities and FP Networks Supporting Practice.

Primary Care Home (PCH)

A PCH describes patient medical homes (full-service family practices) or networks of patient medical homes linked with health authority and community agency primary care services which form the foundation of a coordinated system of primary and community care within the community. This team-based approach includes other health professionals working together with family doctors, forming networks of care.

In the PCH/PMH, care is provided in and/or coordinated across clinical settings including:

  • Ambulatory/office practice.
  • Hospital and long-term care institutions.
  • Emergency care settings.
  • Care in the home.

Across these clinical settings, communities will vary in how the comprehensive primary care services are organized and offered. This might look quite different in rural vs urban communities.