Health Care Homes, also known as “medical homes,” offer a team approach to primary care, making it easier for patients to communicate and partner with their care team.

The Minnesota Department of Health has certified Sleepy Eye Medical Center Clinic as a Health Care Home. This means that Sleepy Eye Medical Center Clinic has met a set of rigorous standards to provide patient and family-centered care and is working to improve both the overall quality and affordability of health care.

Health Care Homes, also known as “medical homes,” offer a team approach to primary care, making it easier for patients to communicate and partner with their care team. Care teams can include clinicians, nurses, specialists, care coordinators and community resources.

In a Health Care Home, a care coordinator who develops a relationship with patients and their families works with them to coordinate their care and achieve better health. This includes streamlining access to appointments, improving communication with specialists, answering questions over the phone and planning for care.

This approach to care can be particularly helpful for people with complex and chronic conditions.

At Sleepy Eye Medical Center Clinic, patients will see a model of care where staff and patients work in partnership to improve health outcomes and quality of life for individuals with chronic conditions.

“Our goal is to achieve optimal medical care delivery, enhance the patient experience and cost containment. SEMC Health Care Home does just that. It is a well-organized approach to care in the clinic—with the patient, family, provider, care coordinator and clinic nurses working for the same medical care outcome in a team environment. This approach allows us to be partners in the patient’s care,” said Sandy Domeier, RN, Director of Patient Services.

Domeier also explained how the Health Care Home model will influence a patient’s care after they leave SEMC.

“All care coordinated members know the plan of care. At the same time, the patients know who to call 24/7 if they have questions about any medications, are unsure whether or not they need to come in or wish to simply review their care plan.”

Health Care Homes are an important component of Minnesota’s 2008 health reform law, also known as “Minnesota’s Vision for a Better State of Health.” The goals of the law are to simultaneously improve the health of the population, the patient experience and the affordability of health care.