Patient-Centered Dental Home Definition Development

The definition of a Patient-Centered Dental Home (PCDH) was developed using a modified Delphi approach to systematically obtain expert opinion through a structured group communication process. National Advisory Committee (NAC) members participated in two consecutive web-based surveys in order to come to agreement on the essential characteristics of a PCDH. The characteristics were then released for public comment and a third web-based survey was administered to the NAC based on proposed changes after the public comment period. The foundation for the essential characteristics were based on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) characteristics, as well as additional characteristics identified by the research team and the participants themselves.

The NAC came to agreement on the following 8 characteristics:

  • Accessible
  • Comprehensive
  • Continuous
  • Coordinated
  • Patient-centered
  • Family-centered
  • Quality-focused
  • Safety-focused

Therefore, the PCDH definition was finalized as follows:

“The patient-centered dental home is a model of care that is accessible, comprehensive, continuous, coordinated, patient- and family-centered, and focused on quality and safety as an integrated part of a health home for people throughout the life span.”

For detailed study methodology and results, please see the technical report.