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Member News — Hackensack Meridian Health Co-CEO Robert C. Garrett Plays Key Role at National Innovation Conference
May 10th, 2018

Hackensack Meridian Health Co-CEO Robert C. Garrett is a featured panelist at the HLTH The Future of Health Care conference this week, a prestigious gathering of the nation’s leading health care innovators who are improving quality of care and patient satisfaction.

“We are here to share our success stories and learn how other leading health care companies and startups are changing the future of health care with advanced technology and innovative strategies,’’  said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network.

Major trends in health care, including a switch from fee-for-service medicine to value- based care and a growing emphasis on population health, are leading providers and payers to dramatically change care delivery. Enhanced technology and data gathering and analytics are playing critical roles in better tracking patient outcomes, especially among the chronically ill, as well as patient satisfaction.

“This conference showcases the best ideas in technology and innovation and we are eager to connect with companies who are at the forefront of enhancing care transformation,’’ Mr. Garrett said. “We are eager to find new partnerships to continue our mission to provide our patients with the highest quality care and the best patient experience.’’

Mr. Garrett detailed several innovations underway at Hackensack Meridian Health to deliver on the triple aim of the network and the nation’s leading health care experts – better patient health, increased satisfaction and lower costs.

For example, the network partnered with the Cerner data warehouse to help executives better analyze voluminous health care data to enhance decision making to improve care. Additionally, the network hired many more coordinators – advanced practice nurses – to improve the health of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Nurses are embedded in physician practices and serve as the essential bridge between physician and patient. The Hackensack Alliance ACO is now third in the nation with an impressive quality score of 92 and shared savings of $50 million in 2016. The ACO reduced the number of unnecessary hospital readmissions by 47 percent and unnecessary emergency visits by 33 percent in just two years. This was achieved by closely monitoring patients to prevent minor health problems from becoming emergencies. Based on the phenomenal success of this strategy, our teams are working to replicate this program throughout the network for all patients.

Additionally, the network is engaging in strategic partnerships with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Carrier Clinic and urgent care providers such as CityMD and RediClinic.

“Partnerships expand the reach of our hospitals and health systems and now help us more than ever deliver on our promise of delivering value,’’ Mr. Garrett said.

The historic partnership with Sloan will result in an exceptional uniform standard of care as well as the opening of a jointly operated outpatient center in central New Jersey later this year, a first nationally for Sloan.

The partnership Hackensack Meridian Health is exploring with the Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s premier behavioral health provider, will enhance the network’s behavioral health services. In New Jersey, half of the increase in emergency visits was due to patients with mental health and addiction issues.

“The network also implemented two new solutions to improve patient satisfaction based on recommendations from our care team: NRC Realtime Feedback and WAMBI,’’ Mr. Garrett said.

“NRC Health will facilitate our required surveys for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, but they also reach out to 100 percent of patients not surveyed by CMS so we can see in real time how we are doing,’’ Mr. Garrett said.

“This partnership is an example of our continued dedication to ensuring our patients have an excellent experience and transition home safety,’’ said Mr. Garrett.

The network also launched a pilot featuring WAMBI which provides personal feedback – praise and constructive – to help our team members provide the best patient experience. Each team member has a dashboard and their leader can see their individual dashboard as well as aggregate.

“It helps us recognize compassionate care and empowers our team members so we have a better read of our patients’ needs in real time,’’ Mr. Garrett said

The conference is on target to draw more than 11,000 attendees. HLTH was launched to improve health care quality, enhance technology and better manage our chronically ill and aging population.

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