Your child’s primary care doctor is the point person for all of your child’s healthcare needs. Your child’s pediatrician is your guide to navigating the health system. The pediatrician’s office is your child's medical home. This means that the doctor coordinates all aspects of your child’s care in a centralized way. This improves health outcomes, limits the number of places patients need to visit to access care and reduces the costs of healthcare.
The Benefits of a Medical Home
The medical home model is designed to help patients feel comfortable going to their primary care doctor for most medical needs—at any time.
- All primary care doctors at Riley at IU Health are encouraged to use the medical home model and make themselves available to patients and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Parents and guardians know that they can call their child's doctor for advice rather than going to the emergency room first, even if the doctor's office is closed.
- If your child needs care from a specialist or the hospital, the primary care doctor will work with you and other healthcare providers to schedule needed appointments and procedures and to make sure all of your child’s needs are addressed.
- The doctor will manage any follow-up care your child may need after a surgery or after discharge from the hospital.
- Your child's doctor has access to all of your child’s medical records through the Riley at IU Health electronic medical records system, including notes from all specialists.
- The doctor is your point person in the healthcare system. This should improve your access to health services.
How to Build a Medical Home
When parents are looking for a primary care doctor for their child, they should think about their priorities for the doctor-family relationship.
- Parents should consider what is most important to them when it comes to choosing a pediatrician, such as proximity to the hospital and after hours care.
- Parents should ask for a meet-and-greet session with the doctor to discuss their goals and review their child’s patient records and health history.
- Parents can ask the doctor about his or her communication methods and expectations of patient families.
- Parents should also share any past issues with previous doctors and discuss how the medical home doctor would address a similar situation.
- Parents should choose the doctor that they feel a connection with and with whom they can comfortably hold a conversation.
Doctors at Riley at IU Health strive to create a medical home that is a one-stop center for all of your child’s healthcare needs. The medical home is a partnership between parents and the doctor that reduces the stress of navigating the healthcare system while improving access to care.