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Oct 10, 2018

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are in the best position to coordinate patient care, because they understand their patients' unique needs. But knowing which specialists can deliver the most effective care when a referral is required can challenge even the most experienced PCP.

That's because PCPs rarely have insight into the costs and quality of care delivered by other providers. Lacking this evidence, they have no alternative but to base referrals on personal experience, professional recommendations, doctor ratings, and patient requests.

This is changing, however, thanks to a new approach called “episode intelligence.” Using HIT analytics, episodes of care are analyzed to identify physicians and facilities that can deliver the most effective care throughout a course of treatment.

One innovative organization using episode intelligence is Tandigm Health, a value-based healthcare company supporting primary care physicians. Heading Tandigm’s effort is Director of Informatics Tony Tedesco, an early adopter of the technology. Tedesco is using it to help PCPs improve patient referrals, measurably helping them deliver higher quality care at a lower cost.

In this interview, Tedesco talks about:

  • How and why Tandigm is using episode intelligence to put primary care physicians back in charge of patient care
  • The primary care physician's evolving role in coordinating comprehensive care
  • How episode intelligence improves utilization of specialists, which leads to higher-value care

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