Technology-enabled Ambulatory Care

A top problem in the US healthcare system is a pervasive under emphasis on prevention and primary care, resulting in climbing rates of potentially avoidable chronic disease and their associated costs. A well-designed high-performing primary care service that is accessible, proactive, and coordinated has been shown to improve population health, reduce total health care costs, and enhance provider and patient experience. Yet despite its value, high-performing primary care has been slow to spread. A key obstacle to dissemination is the cost, in terms of time and resources, required to expand primary care services.

Digital Health Technologies to Scale High-Performing Primary Care

CERC’s outpatient HIT team identified three practical digital health technologies that reduce the clinical and financial burden of delivering high-performing primary care. We define health information technology (HIT) as digital applications that capture, store and/or communicate physical, social,economic, behavioral and environmental data for the purpose of treating disease, supporting well-being and advancing healthcare.

  1. Safe reduction in health care utilization is enabled through AI-assisted text encounters and 24/7 patient-to-clinician telehealth by phone or video.

  2. Digital population health management platforms are used to aggregate clinical and social determinants data and continuously alert clinicians to actionable unmet needs including referrals to address social determinants.

  3. Primary Care Providers (PCPs) are connected to specialists through asynchronous electronic consults, allowing for expanded PCP management without specialty visits.

Projects and Outcomes

Net Percent reduction in total annual American health care spending: 0.97%

(Net annual savings $35 billion / Total annual American health care spending in 2018 $3.6 trillion)

Publications and News