Merger prompts change in platform at Hackensack Meridian Health

A recent merger involving Hackensack Meridian Health provided the impetus for the 17-hospital integrated delivery system to find a new platform to manage collaboration.

Recently, the system merged with Carrier Clinic, which specializes in behavioral healthcare, enhancing patient services.

“The old platform served its purpose, but now we need real-time video conferencing and the ability to do conferencing across multiple types of devices, along with third-party partners,” says David Reis, Hackensack Meridian’s CIO.

About half of the increase in emergency department visits in New Jersey are related to patient behavioral issues, and the merger will bring greater access and choice to patients who in the past have sought treatment out of state and away from their family and support network.

Video conferencing brings new efficiencies, particularly in being able to do less driving to sites across the large delivery system, which always has been a drag on productivity.

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Hackensack selected Sada Systems as its new platform vendor and will migrate infrastructure and applications to the cloud-hosted platform. The organization needs strong collaboration tools that are easy to use, and the platform will foster a next generation of seamless collaboration, Reis believes.

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Presently, the organization is in the ramp-up period, and there is general enthusiasm for the platform, but also pockets of less enthusiastic colleagues who are reluctant to move on from their current ways of workflow and using legacy systems.

While the platform is being built, the focus turns to organization preparedness that includes change management, training, cost savings and finding efficiencies, says Tony Safoian, CEO at Sada Systems.

Finalizing the rollout plan is being done now, according to Reis, with a pilot program planned for the summer and then a full rollout in the fall. “We want to move more efficiently and conduct information sharing, and the platform will take care of information sharing.”

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