Bob Garrett displays an inner cool that some might say seems surprising for a man at the center of many complex and exciting initiatives that are bringing dramatic improvement to the health care landscape here in New Jersey and beyond. As Co-CEO of the state’s largest, most comprehensive, and most integrated health network, Bob takes his transformation mission in stride.
Bob and his team at Hackensack Meridian Health, led with Co-CEO John K. Lloyd, former head of Meridian Health, are maestros when it comes to doing their due diligence, nailing the right strategy, and then executing against plan. From cementing a ten-year vision to creating a new private medical school – from scratch, mind you– to taking conventional disease treatment and re-imagining how to better connect health and care to keep people and communities well, Bob is a virtuoso.
It took one internship, at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Center, for this Connecticut native and political science major to know he had found his calling. “I loved what I saw,” he recalls, “and I thought, I really want to be involved with this.” The numbers speak for themselves: 33,000 team members; 6,500 credentialed physicians; 16 hospitals; 180 locations.
With a worldview informed by connecting with global leaders and rising entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, hosting health care panels at Vatican conferences, and working closely with Governor Murphy’s office on important issues like behavioral health care solutions and New Jersey’s innovation economy, Bob Garrett has his head up and his eyes on the health care horizon.
HumanizeMD thanks Bob Garrett for taking the time to talk with us about the important changes going on in health care today, and the future of health care he is helping to lead.
HMD: For an outside observer, it’s hard to keep up with the pace of advancement at Hackensack Meridian Health. There’s breakthrough news happening at HMH on almost every major health care front. Bob, before we delve into specific initiatives, can you explain your role in leading the organization to set so many precedents for the future state of health care, not just in New Jersey but at a national level?
RCG: My job, in essence, is to orchestrate excellence so that wecan be sure that our health network is providing top quality care,giving people in our communities the best possible patient experience, and keeping health care affordable. All three are equally important and, as Co-CEO, I want to live up to our mission to transform health care.
There are a lot of people in the industry who are pessimistic about the future of health care. I know there’s a lot of disruption,a lot of uncertainty, but I’ve never been more optimistic than I am now. There are great opportunities to do more, to do better –we just need to take advantage of them.
It’s my role to help us be focused, be agile. I think we are an agile organization, even as large as we are, with 6,500 credentialed physicians and 33,000 team members. I’ve learned a lotof lessons over the years about perseverance, so whether I’m opening a hospital or spending ten years to pioneer our own medical school, I know how to keep focused on a positive future and spread that optimism.
HMD: In July, 60 students in the inaugural class of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University launched their medical careers with a traditional White Coat ceremony,symbolizing the compassion and duty inherent in the medical profession. Why was this ceremony especially meaningful for you?
RCG: It was special for many reasons, but one of the great things about starting a new school of medicine from scratch – and I’ve been working on this project for a decade is that you can truly innovate.
Immersion is key to an innovative curriculum at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine where our students team up with families in stressed areas such as Asbury Park, learning first hand the health challenges that families can have and their role in keeping entire communities well, based on an approach that focuses equally on maintaining health and curing illness.
As we have come to recognize the importance of social factors on health outcomes, we better understand that health and wellness occur in the community, not in the hospital. I’m proud to see this vision reach fruition and to deliver on our goal to change medical education to better prepare physicians of the future.
For me, the White Coat ceremony launched this inaugural class and our new innovative school of medicine.
HMD: How will this new medical school help resolve the growing physician shortage in New Jersey and meet new challenges in health care delivery?
RCG: I see this as an alternative for the current “brain drain” where many young people from New Jersey are going to medical schools outside of the state. Research shows that physicians often practice where they train, so the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is a solution which will help the state ease a shortage of an estimated 3,000 doctors by 2020. We will ramp up to 150 students next year, so ultimately it will be a medical school of 600 students.
Along with the opening of this state-of-theart medical school,Seton Hall University has relocated its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences to create an Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus spread across Nutley and Clifton, helping to revitalize this major economic hub on the site of the former Hoffman La Roche campus. Students benefit from a three-year program, so they can save on a fourth year of tuition and start their residencies a year early at one of HMH’s 16hospitals, or stay on and obtain a graduate degree. Our Board of Trusteeshas established a $100 million endowment fund for scholarships, ensuring top students will be able to afford a medical education.
More than 2,100 students applied for the 60 spots. Diversity is well represented in the class, with students speaking a total of 25 languages. We wantour physicians to mirror the communities they serve. Women make up half of our class. Many of the students overcame their own challenges to get to where they are, which again, made the White Coat ceremony very special.
HMD: In 2017, you and your wife Laura donated $2.65 million to create the Robert C. and Laura C. Garrett Endowed Chair for the School of Medicine Dean. You were the first donors to make a gift of this magnitude to the new medical school.
RCG: Laura and I were thrilled to create this endowment to recognize the highest standards required in a leader of our medical school. The gift honored Dr. Bonita Stanton, founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, who has practiced globally with distinction as a physician academician and will continue to bring the highest standards in medical education to the next generation of physicians.
Endowed chairs are among the highest honors conferred in academia and the $15 million donated in support of endowments at Hackensack University Medical Center reinforce its role as one of the top ranked academic medical centers in the country.
My wife and I wanted to make sure the school kicked off in the right way,and we’re very proud to have been able to endow this Chair. This school will be part of our legacy of improved health care for future generations.
HMD: Let’s talk about how the new Memorial Sloan Kettering–Hackensack Meridian Health partnership will transform patient care through collaboration, innovation and advanced technologies.
RCG: This is a time of unprecedented change in cancer care. The goal of this partnership is simple – to find more treatments for cancer faster while ensuring that residents have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care, where and when they need it.
Combining industry leading expertise and deep local roots is helping our new organization to accelerate research and discovery, advance the continuum of care for cancer patients and their families, and create new hope for cancer patients.
Our future outpatient cancer centers will be jointly owned and operated,a first for Memorial Sloan Kettering, and guided by exceptionally uniform standards. Clinicians on both sides have developed one hundred clinical standards that will define how cancer care is administered at these jointly owned centers across the state. So, if you are a patient in South Jersey or North Jersey or Central Jersey, you’ll receive the same world class standard of care,close to home.
Patients will benefit from precision medicine, immuno therapy, cell-based therapies, earlier cancer diagnosis, and an unmatched continuum of care that will support them throughout active treatment and beyond into survivorship. Equally as exciting, our communities will have greater access to hundreds of clinical trials to improve care for many types of cancer.
HMD: In August, HMH and Carrier Clinic, a leader in behavioral health with a 100-year history in New Jersey, announced plans to merge with a goal to deliver unsurpassed behavioral health care to the tri-state region. Why did you see a need to focus on behavioral health care?
RCG: The state of behavioral health care in New Jersey can be applied across the country. It’s fragmented at best and broken at worst. We see behavioral health issues growing as a significant problem in our society. Plus, there’s so much linkage between medical disease and behavioral health diseases. Almost 50 percent of people that have a primary medical diagnosis have a secondary behavioral health diagnosis, and in our emergency departments,about a third of patients have behavioral health issues.
We felt we needed a first class partner to help us take the lead as we did with Memorial Sloan Kettering in cancer care. Carrier is nationally recognized; they have great outcomes. We partnered on a couple of projects to get to know one another and were very impressed with their leadership and their clinical community, so we felt this collaboration could be a good fit. We plan to open an addiction treatment center next year in New Jersey.
HMD: What are you doing to make a difference through this new alliance?
RCG: Our primary goal is to expand access dramatically. Far too many people are waiting too long for care.We want to do some things differently in this area. We already have a massive ambulatory care network in place and plan to add a behavioral health component. We’ll open behavioral health urgent care centers because patients having an acute episode shouldn’t have to sit in an emergency department waiting for treatment.
Our goal is to create more addiction treatment centers in New Jersey. Too many residents are leaving New Jersey to go out of state for treatment.Florida, California and North Carolina are common destinations. This causes a burden to families, as a lot of these patients are younger, even adolescents.
The merger with Carrier will enhance research to improve behavioral health care and provide additional opportunities for our medical students pursuing psychiatry residencies and fellowship programs. We want to create world class addiction treatment centers right here in New Jersey, and we believe Carrier Clinic is going to help us to accomplish that.
HMD: What other types of care transformation initiatives are taking place,and how can value based “bundled” payments mean cost savings for patients?
RCG: What we’re doing is taking our top disease entities and approaching them in a very different way to achieve better results. Teams have been established around cardiovascular health, diabetes, different types of cancer and other diseases and conditions, and we’re looking through a new lens of improving quality, improving patient experience and ultimately making health care more affordable.
We’ve taken evolutionary actions such as creating bundles of care with insurers. This is the next threshold in value based health care, or patient centric practice – a new direction that is making the traditional fee based mode lless prevalent.
At the beginning of this year, Dr. Andrew Pecora, our chief innovation officer, oversaw the creation of an upfront payment model for breast cancer patients at HMH’s John Theurer Cancer Center,in partnership with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and now we have added bundled care for knee, hip and spine procedures.
With bundled care, hospitals receive an upfront payment from insurance companies for an agreed upon price for treatment. We accept 100 percent of the risk for all the care we provide. So, it provides an incentive for us – and all providers to make sure the patient receives high quality, cost effective care for every step of treatment, such as pre-surgical and postoperative care. It ultimately makes health care more affordable.
This program is one example of the ways we are reshaping how health care is delivered, helping enhance care coordination, improving outcomes and delivering greater value.
HMD: You believe that innovation is in your DNA at HMH. How is innovation creating a new foundation for innovative care at Hackensack Meridian Health?
RCG: We are eager to connect with individuals and companies at the forefront of enhancing care transformation, and so we have created an ideation center in partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Agile Strategies Lab is the first incubator of its kind for health care advances in New Jersey. The Lab, located in Newark, is designed to help create and launch the next wave of problem solving in health care through better devices, improved technology and more efficient services to provide high quality of care, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience.We intend to leverage the combined skills of entrepreneurs,major corporations, research scientists, students and NJIT faculty to solve our challenges with novel strategies and products.
Our Board of Trustees also had a lot of great foresight when they committed $25 million to create an Innovation Center, helping companies develop trailblazing products and services. Seed money from the Innovation Center is helping to launch ideas to the point where they can become viable and receive financing from venture capitalists.
HMD: What kind of progress have you made with new product development?
RCG: We’ve already had 10 companies pitch us their ideas. We call it the Bear’s Den because we can’t say Shark Tank but the strategy is similar. The Bear’s Den is led by Dr. Andrew Pecora, president of physician enterprise and chief innovation officer at HMH, and our judges include a patent attorney, medical and financial experts, and Co-CEO John Lloyd. If we like you, we might invest in you.
In June, we invested in a new product created by Pillo Health,a leading in-home digital care management company. Pillo leverages voice first technology and artificial intelligence. Sitting on a countertop, Pillo uses voice and video technology to remind people to take medication at the appropriate time. It dispenses their medications, digitally coordinates prescription refills and connects individuals in their homes with physicians,caregivers and loved ones.
For example, Pillo can alert a family member if an elderly relative misses a medication dose. Pillo can also connect a patient or family member with a physician via video conference and provide an on-screen display of essential medical data as obtained from the patient’s electronic medical record.
HMD: A little over two and a half years ago, you and John Lloyd,who was CEO of Meridian Health prior to the merger, became Co-CEOs of Hackensack Meridian Health. Some people said it wouldn’t work for two strong, longtime CEOs to co-partner. Can you tell me why it has been successful?
RCG: It’s worked in our case for a couple of reasons, First, John and I have very complementary strengths and that’s how we divided up the organization. My background and my strengths have been in a more traditional hospital setting, and Hackensack University Medical Center was a major, nationally recognized medical center with a big emphasis on academics and research.Work began on the medical school years ago. Meridian excelled in their plan to create a major health care system with a broad ambulatory care network but were less evolved on the research and academics, so we each had something that the other needed.
It’s a true story that we challenged each other over dinner one night to write down on a piece of paper what areas we each thought we should be responsible for. “You know, John, what do you want to do and Bob, what do you want to do?” We exchanged our pieces of paper right there and we agreed about 90, 95 percent on what we felt our roles should be.
Another reason that this partnership works is that we had a succession plan in place from the beginning because, no matter how well you know and respect each other, no matter how complementary your strengths,if you don’t have a succession plan it’s going to be like the Wild West.Now John will retire at the end of the year and I’ll take over as the sole CEO, as we had always planned.
As much as we have been friends for a long time, we also worked hard to make this work and I think we are roles models as well and I think we’ve done really well together.
HMD: What do you see as John Lloyd’s legacy after so many years as a leader in health care, and as Co-CEO at HMH?
RCG: There’s no doubt that John is leaving an indelible mark on healthcare in New Jersey and beyond.
John was a visionary when it came to seeing the need to develop a full continuum of care to deliver comprehensive health services to communities. Now,everybody wants that full continuum of care and you hear about different health systems developing ambulatory care and post-acute care services. John saw the need for that early on and did it very well.
In addition to understanding the right strategy, John could get so much done because of his personality and his ability to connect with people. Whether you’re in a board room with John or at a community event or rounding on the floor with front-line team members, it’s the same John Lloyd. He’s just real and authentic and he connects with people. He’s an excellent leader and people want to follow him.
HMD: That infectious enthusiasm and ability to lead is an important quality in an organization with 33,000 team members and 6,500 physicians.How did you and John manage to build a new culture when you combined your organizations?
RCG: When we envisioned HMH we had some great initiatives and some great strategies but we knew that if we didn’t develop a unified culture over time, none of it was going to work. We focused on it and I think that the way you do that with 33,000 team members at all levels of the organization is to make it really simple.
We wanted to develop core messages in such a way that everybody,at any level or corner of the organization, would be able to relate. And we took this into consideration in developing our mission statement, our vision and our core beliefs. Our mission statement basically states that we’re all here to transform health care. All 33,000 team members can relate to our vision, which is that innovation is in our DNA.
HMD: How have you used your core beliefs to enhance employee engagement?
RCG: Collaborative, courageous, creative and compassionate are the four C’s that form our core beliefs. Each team member takes a test to see which C they score highest in, and they love it! John and I have been going around doing these pop culture events, with tent cards illustrating the four core beliefs. Team members who attend want us to sign their side of the card. “Oh I’m creative, could you please sign it?”
It’s providing people with a simple, universal way to relate, so whether you’re a world class bone marrow physician or a person who ensures that our patient environment is clean and safe, there’s something that every single person can hold in their hand and whatever decisions they need to make throughout the day, they can just check back to our core beliefs.
We developed the four C’s earlier this year and we’ve been rolling them out at Town Hall meetings and popup events across the organization. We even had a pep rally at Met Life Stadium, where I got to do my first zip line across the stadium. I loved it. I’d do it again in a minute.
HMD: Speaking of zip lining, how do you manage to stay above it all in terms of work/life balance?
RCG: A long time ago someone told me it’s a lifestyle and not a job. That’s true. I try to spend as much time as I can with family and friends, and many of our close friends are Hackensack Meridian Health people as well.
We get away, but often it’s no further than from our home in Morristown to our beach house in Spring Lake, where I love to walk on the boardwalk. I thrive on running into team members, people I know and people I don’t know and talking with them about what’s going on. This takes a certain personality type that I have, and it has helped me keep a lot of balls in the air and be successful at it.
Aside from people, my other great passion is travel. Seeing what’s different,seeing what’s going on. I’m fortunate to have twice been invited to participate on a panel as part of the Unite To Cure Conference at the Vatican.This year’s conference was themed How Science, Technology and 21stCentury Medicine Will Impact Culture and Society.I’ve also been fortunate to host a panel on the global transition of health care delivery at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
I work out four days a week, play some racquetball, and I do actually sleep pretty well, although I often say sleep is overrated!
Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center Foundation will host the third annual Benefit for Bayshore: an Oktoberfest Community Celebration on Friday, October 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The outdoor, tented reception will take place on the medical center’s campus at 727 North Beers Street in Holmdel and will support the expansion of emergency services at Bayshore Medical Center. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available to the public.
“This is the third annual Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Celebration and we are thrilled to once again host this exciting event on the Bayshore campus,” says Timothy J. Hogan, FACHE, president of Bayshore Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center. “Last year’s event raised more than $175,000 in support of the expansion of emergency services on the campus, and we are now closer than ever before to making an exciting announcement that will truly impact emergency care for our community. The funds raised from this event will contribute greatly to our plans.”
This year’s signature event will once again be co-chaired by Dr. and Mrs. Asaad and Dima Samra, along with honorary chair, Carol Stillwell, and will feature an Oktoberfest inspired menu, décor and entertainment. Carol Stillwell and Asaad Samra, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon, are also Bayshore Medical Center Foundation trustees.
“Dima and I are thrilled to once again chair this festive event,” says Dr. Samra. “Bayshore Medical Center is seeing unprecedented growth and the community is beginning to take notice of its incredible services and quality. Not only am I excited to be part of the medical staff, but also to help rally the community and inspire them to support the medical center at events such as this one.”
The Benefit for Bayshore Oktoberfest Celebration is supported by capstone sponsor, Stillwell-Hansen, Inc. Registration is $250 per person, 50/50 raffle tickets and many sponsorships opportunities are available, including advertisements in the virtual ad journal.
“I am so proud of Bayshore Medical Center and the tremendous strides it is making both in terms of patient safety, technology and services,” says Serena DiMaso, Esq., New Jersey Assemblywoman and chair of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation. “In just a few short years, the hospital has made significant upgrades to many areas, and events like this help to make those possible. The surrounding community needs and deserves the best care, particularly for emergent situations, and funds raised from this event will specifically benefit the much-needed expansion of emergency services.”
To register, or to learn more about the event, please visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org/BMCOktoberfest or contact Meagan O’Flaherty, special events officer, at 732-751-5101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asaad Samra, M.D., board certified plastic surgeon, Bayshore Medical Center Foundation trustee and event co-chair; Dima Samra, event co-chair; Carol Stillwell, honorary event chair and president and CEO of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., capstone sponsor; Jennifer Smith, senior executive director, Bayshore Medical Center Foundation; Joseph Stampe, south regional president and foundation chief development officer at Hackensack Meridian Health; Serena DiMaso, Esq., New Jersey Assemblywoman and chair of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation; and Gerald DiMaso, M.D., internal medicine physician with Bayshore Medical Center, at last year’s Oktoberfest celebration.
Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center Foundation will host the third annual Benefit for Bayshore: an Oktoberfest Community Celebration on Friday, October 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The outdoor, tented reception will take place on the medical center’s campus at 727 North Beers Street in Holmdel and will support the expansion of emergency services at Bayshore Medical Center. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available to the public.
ABOUT BAYSHORE MEDICAL CENTER
Bayshore Medical Center is a 211-bed not-for-profit community hospital located in Holmdel, New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including: emergency medicine, cardiac catheterization, surgical services, wound care, sleep services, diagnostic imaging, women’s services with digital mammography, as well as a designated primary stroke center. Its’ Center for Bariatrics is one of the most comprehensive in the region offering free informational sessions, pre-surgical education and evaluation, personal guidance through the surgical process, nutritional support, exercise components and support groups. For more information, visit www.bayshorehospital.org.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 16 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 450 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has 33,000 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” The network was also named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2018” list.
Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University to launch the first private medical school in New Jersey – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University – in more than 50 years to address a growing shortage of physicians and dramatic changes in health care delivery. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s oldest and most respected behavioral health provider, signed a definitive agreement to merge.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.
After months of anticipation, The Jewish Home for Rehabilitation & Nursing is delighted to announce we are now open for admissions! The newly-constructed, upscale, Jewish skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility is currently accepting residents requiring short-term respite or long-term care placement.
Contact admissions for more information and to tour the beautiful, Glatt Kosher, tradition-friendly building at any time!
The Jewish Home For Rehabilitation & Nursing
1151 West Main Street
(CR 537 West)
Freehold, NJ 07728
Allaire Rehab & Nursing, a top-rated, luxurious healthcare facility in Central Jersey, is pleased to announce its new alliance with TeleHealth Solution – bringing the benefits of cutting-edge telemedicine to its patients and residents.
Renowned for its outstanding subacute care and unique Horizons Neuro Rehab Program catering to young adults with neurological impairment, Allaire takes pride on being at the cusp of all that’s new in healthcare: “Revolutionizing Care Delivery™”. By partnering with TeleHealth, Allaire residents are assured round-the-clock physician coverage especially during the critical evening and weekend hours.
In a typical skilled nursing or assisted living community, when a patient experiences respiratory distress, chest pain, a fever, or any other change in medical condition, the patient is sent to the emergency room and potentially admitted to the hospital. With telemedicine technology enabling virtual physician access, a facility can avoid unnecessary hospital transfers and “treat in place” in most scenarios – thus reducing medical costs, stress, hospital-associated delirium, and other potential complications.
Dr. Waseem Ghannam, CEO and Co-Founder of TeleHealth Solution started the company to help elderly patients avoid unnecessary stressors related to acute medical changes. “With this technology coupled with expert hospitalist physicians, we are able to examine patients in their nursing home setting, order additional labs and tests, and prescribe medications that can keep them out of the hospital. Patients can be treated in-house approximately 90% of the time,” states Dr. Ghannam.
TeleHealth Solution employs telemedicine technology that is equipped with a digital stethoscope, a high definition camera, a pulse oximeter, and the Hand Over Heart ECG Glove. “The ECG Glove is a very special tool in our arsenal which would amount to a trip to the hospital to perform but now can be deployed by a nurse instantly,” notes Dr. Ghannam.
“Always looking to upgrade our standard of care as medicine evolves, we are excited to work with TeleHealth. With 24/7 doctor access, Allaire patients and staff no longer have to worry about medical care when our in-house providers are not there. TeleHealth’s board-certified doctors are available on demand to answer questions, evaluate patients, and have family meetings if needed,” says Brie Gallo, Vice President of Operations at Allaire Health Services.
The implementation of telemedicine adds an additional level of physician oversight reassuring families that their loved one will be well-taken care of when an emergency arises in the middle of the night, minimizing the need for hospitalization and bolstering the center’s positive outcomes.
Allaire Rehab & Nursing is the only Special Care Nursing Facility (SCNF) in the state of New Jersey to offer long term care with therapy for individuals who suffer from neurological impairment, and has established itself among the “Best Nursing Homes In The Nation” as ranked by US News & World Report. For more information about Allaire Rehab & Nursing or to schedule a personal tour, please contact Brie Gallo at 732-431-7420 or visit www.allairehc.com. For further information about TeleHealth Solution visit www.telehealthsolution.com.
Located in AtlantiCare Health Park, AMI AtlantiCare provides full range of diagnostic imaging services.
Manahawkin, NJ – AMI AtlantiCare has opened its newest office at the AtlantiCare Health Park in Manahawkin. Located at 517 Route 72 West, the office offers a full range of diagnostic imaging services using state-of-the-art technology. Included among the services provided are:
* High-Field Anti-Claustrophobic MRI
* Ultra 64-Slice CT Scanner with SafeCT
* 3D Mammography
* Ultrasound with Color Doppler
* DEXA Scan
* Digital X-ray
“We are proud and excited to bring this partnership to the residents of southern Ocean County,” said AMI President/CEO Dr. David Levi. “Our goal is to provide patients and their referring physicians with unmatched technology, diagnostic imaging expertise, compassion and the highest quality care. Our technology is continuously updated to ensure we offer today’s most advanced and accurate technology and techniques. And we are committed to providing our staff with the tools and resources needed to provide excellent patient care.”
“We are thrilled to welcome our AMI colleagues,” said Vice President of AtlantiCare Physician Group and Regional Network Jatin Motiwal. “Having AMI in the Health Park will make it more convenient for patients to access the quality radiology services they need and deserve.”
AtlantiCare opened the 60,000 square-foot building to the community June 29, 2017. It includes AtlantiCare primary and specialty care services, a lab, a community pharmacy, a café, an outdoor garden area and more.
This is the second AMI AtlantiCare partnership location, with the other office located at the AtlantiCare Health Park in Hammonton. Office hours for the Manahawkin location are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (609) 878-XRAY (9729) to schedule an appointment.
For more information, visit www.amiatlanticare.com.
Atlantic Medical Imaging (AMI) is a quality-driven medical imaging practice committed to clinical excellence by providing innovative service and compassionate care. With 42 board certified radiologists, 450 staff members and 12 office locations in Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean and Monmouth Counties, AMI is the largest and most comprehensive provider of imaging services in central and southeastern New Jersey. AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,800 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 100 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008, 2013 and 2018.
Americans are information-hungry and, thanks to the Internet, there’s plenty of data to be found – especially when it comes to healthcare. According to the Pew Research Center, over 70 percent of people look for healthcare information on the web. Moreover, 77 percent of consumers admit they use the Internet at the outset of their search for a new healthcare provider.
The problem, of course, is that not everything we read online is factual. In fact, with the exception of mainstream media such as the The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, information online is often skewed. It’s called “marketing,” and it’s often onesided and not 100 percent reliable.
A study completed by Invespro truly underscores the importance of reviews, as well as the impact negative reviews can have on a doctor or healthcare practice.
• Positive reviews make a practice seem more trustworthy, according to 72 percent of patients surveyed.
• If a local doctor has a five-star rating, they are going to earn more patients; 92 percent of people surveyed said that “stars” are a determining factor in choosing a physician.
• Before even trusting a healthcare professional, the vast majority of patients (who read reviews) said they read at least four online reviews.
It’s easy to understand why bogus reviews present a huge challenge for physicians, hospitals and healthcare practices around the country. It’s so easy for anyone to post a review, but there’s no way to know if it’s bogus, or unfair. Further, there are companies out there that permit people to “buy” reviews – good for themselves or bad for a competitor – which truly makes the entire concept of online reviews unpredictable and practically a waste of time.
Unfortunately, this isn’t stopping disgruntled patients from writing doctor reviews. In most cases, reviews posted on Healthgrades or Yelp, and other sites can’t even be responded to or refuted by the healthcare professional or practice (due to privacy laws.)
Bogus Complaints Send the Wrong Message
Consider a story about a woman who was very clearly addicted to pain medication. According to the director of a major New Jersey healthcare practice, she came to the office complaining of pain and requesting pain medication. “She was refused pain meds due to her obvious prescription abuse history,” he said. “However, she took the opportunity to write a review about our practice. She wrote that no one here cared about her pain. She clearly misrepresented the facts.”
Due to HIPAA laws, the practice is unable to respond to “bogus” complaints like that, leaving healthcare practices helpless to refute bad information. “People read these kinds of one-sided, unfair reviews and make a decision that the practice is not compassionate,” he added.
In another case, a patient showed up at a specialist’s office without a referral from his primary care physician. The paperwork snafu caused an extended stay in the waiting room which obviously angered the patient. He wrote a review of the practice complaining about the horrible wait time. A review like this is biased and unfair and is not truly representative of the practice.
According to a report printed in JAMA, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, “commercial physicianrating websites have significant limitations.”
While the number of physician reviews online are increasing, the reviews observed by the study were not meaningful. “It is difficult for a prospective patient to find (for any given physician on any commercial physician-rating website) a quantity of reviews that would accurately relay the experience of care with that physician,” according to JAMA.
NJ Healthcare Practices Seriously Injured by Bogus Online Reviews
Moazam Gazi, administrator for University Urology Associates of NJ, says bogus online reviews are a problem faced by most, if not all, healthcare practices. Unless a practice is large enough to have a team of people monitoring social media and online review sites, doctors and healthcare practices face substantial risk to their public image, Mr. Gazi said.
“The conversations on these review boards are almost exclusively one-sided due to HIPAA laws. People feel that it’s a place to vent and discuss their personal care,” he explained. “But it doesn’t give a physician or practice the ability to respond in kind due ethical considerations. Additionally, practices are often very negatively affected by bogus reviews stemming from insurance issues like copays that have nothing to do with quality of medical care.
“Bottom line”, Gazi added, “people should be careful about where they go for their reviews.”
“Taking Reviews with a Grain of Salt”
Many people interviewed said they regularly look at reviews when considering a healthcare professional for their own, or their family’s, care. But suspicions abound.
“I read reviews but I take them with a grain of salt because of the bad experiences I’ve have with docs who were given rave reviews. I do admit, though, that I am more influenced by negative reviews compared to 100% glowing reviews.” — Sue M., Robbinsville
“I know the internet has trolls. It could be someone’s just posting negative comments to be mean. It could be the doc did make a medical mistake once, but is otherwise a great doc. It could be the doc aggravated the commenter in some realm other than medical, and the comment is a revenge posting.” — Jennie P., Hamilton
“I am usually suspect of every review and can’t help but wonder if they were planted. That’s just my suspicious nature. I do not to trust them nor do I base my choices on them.” — Nancy R., Howell
Many consumers look to friends and family for referrals when it comes to choosing a physician. Even so, they still admit to checking out online reviews before making a final decision about setting an appointment.
“I typically read online reviews after I’ve made my decision because I prefer to get a referral from someone I know,” said Jamie C. ff Allentown. “That being said, I know for a fact that people are much more likely to complain than they are to write a good review. So, one review – either way – I am suspect about who wrote it.”
Still others look to reviews for specific information. A negative review, in this case, could really impact a patient’s decision to see one physician over another.
“It’s difficult to ascertain the legitimacy of a review. It’s very subjective and there are so many factors that come into choosing a doctor. Bedside manner is important to me,” said Janis P. of Hopewell. “So if there was a review that said he doesn’t spend a lot of time or is gruff, couldn’t be bothered, that would definitely impact my decision.”
Bogus Reviews are Bad for Consumers and Bad for Business. Period.
“Bad online ratings can wreak havoc on doctors’ businesses, in extreme cases driving physicians to leave a particular state to practice elsewhere,” according to research published in The Wall Street Journal. “Ratings sites will take down reviews that use profanity, but they typically won’t edit or remove a review simply because a doctor (or any business) disputes what is in it.”
Further, while an electrician or an eatery can just close and change the business name and reopen, physicians can’t do that. Once their reputation is damaged, it’s a done deal.
In fact, “one negative review can cost you almost 30 new patients, and nearly 80 percent of patients will change their mind about a practice after reading a bad review,” according to the Invespro study.
“Unfortunately, it’s hard to find reliable, easy-to-understand information about specific doctors or practices,” Doris Peter, Ph.D., director of the said. “Sure, you can check out physician reviews on sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, but do you really want to find a doctor the same way you do a restaurant or plumber? Probably not.”
So – What is the solution?
Patients should seek in-depth information regarding the physician, their practice and their philosophy. One site dedicated to bringing deeper information to consumers is HumanizeMD (www.humanizemd.com). Compatibility with your physician enhances communication, and good information flow between doctor and patient leads to better outcomes.
Hyper local, and focused initially in Central New Jersey, HumanizeMD is the first informational website that helps you get to know more about a doctor as a person before making one of your most important healthcare decisions.
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