A primary care provider with an IPA in the Bronx sees a patient complaining of symptoms consistent with a gastrointestinal condition. As the doctor doesn’t feel equipped to diagnose or treat the problem, she refers the patient to a GI specialist.
“Only maybe the primary care doctor never explained to the specialist why she wanted this patient seen, or the patient may not be able to describe to the specialist his symptoms in the same way he explained them to his PCP. So, the specialist sends back a note that doesn’t answer the questions first raised by the primary care doctor, which means that nobody ends up solving the problem.”
“In the worst-case scenario, the conditions worsen and the patient later ends up in the ED. All this may have been avoided if the PCP and specialist had been better connected and the patient had been communicated with more appropriately. And this is the type of scenario that happens all the time.”
This was how, over a year ago, Zoe Stopak-Behr, now the Director of Care Coordination Systems at SBH and then working in that capacity for Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities (BPHC), the SBH-led DSRIP Performing Provider System, described in basic terms the reasons behind the impending need to identify a solution to the inconvenient and disruptive information flow common to patient referrals between providers.