Innovation by Design

Revolutionizing Health Care Delivery through Precision Medicine

Information technology leaders from Hackensack University Medical Center, were selected to participate in the White House Precision Medicine Initiative Summit on February 25. The event took place in the South Court Auditorium of the White House and featured a panel discussion with former President Barack Obama, as well as other industry experts, patients and researchers. Launched in January 2015, the Precision Medicine Initiative has made significant progress toward revolutionizing health care delivery. The Administration called on academic medical centers, researchers, foundations, privacy experts, medical ethicists, and medical product innovators to develop new approaches to patient participation and empowerment. Hackensack University Medical Center was one of a very select group of organizations that accepted and delivered on this challenge based on the medical center’s strength in health care information technology, early adoption and advancement of interoperability standards, as well as its ongoing commitment to patient experience.

Paving the Way for Innovation in New Jersey

In February, the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), a New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) corporation, announced that Hackensack University Medical Center became the only health care Charter Member of NJII and a partner in its Healthcare Delivery Systems Innovation Lab (iLab).

NJII applies the intellectual and technological resources of the state’s science and technology university to challenges identified by industry partners. Through its iLabs, NJII brings NJIT expertise to key economic sectors, including health care delivery systems, bio-pharmaceutical production, civil infrastructure, defense and homeland security and financial services.

Through this partnership, we are committed to developing novel ideas which promote open innovation and the use of tools and processes that encourage creative thinking. Through iLabs, we will be able to combine our collective resources to make meaningful advances in care.

Hackensack University Medical Center has been focused on research and innovation for many years. In 2014, the teaching hospital had more than 700 active/open studies offering more than 1,000 patients new options in care. Partnering with the New Jersey Innovation Institute is a natural fit for the two organizations.

NJII has a business unit of university executives from various departments and disciplines expressly created to familiarize our industry partners with university assets and programs. They also harness the ability to set up and run Hackensack-specific ideation platforms with their portfolio of health care cluster incubator companies to develop and pursue innovative program opportunities. NJII will mobilize NJIT’s intellectual, capital, and research resources to meet the specific R&D needs of Hackensack University Medical Center.

Currently, Hackensack University Medical Center is utilizing NJIT resources to define the future of care delivery transition, which will involve coupling precision medicine with population health. With precision medicine, data and evidence-based medicine are brought together to drive out as much negative variation possible. Ultimately, outcomes are improved and inefficiencies and cost are greatly reduced.

The design for precision medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary team, with members from the clinical, quality, finance, education, experience and research teams. Andre Goy, M.D., chairman and executive director of The John Theurer Cancer Center, and Tim Hogan, FACHE, president of Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Medical Center, are leading the multidisciplinary team in the design process.

Precision medicine and a multidisciplinary approach put physicians in the driver’s seat for delivering patient care, transforming from a fee-for-service to valued-based care model. The five key components for how the future of care will be transformed include clinical excellence, high quality, a highly-reliable experience, value, and innovation which supports education.

Though the team is currently focused on building bundles for cancer care, the vision is to take this care product further to redefine how we deliver all care. The plan is to design the first bundle, for Breast Cancer Her 2 Neu Positive, refine the design and use that design approach to create the additional bundles for cancer care, and beyond.

By partnering with NJIT, Hackensack Meridian Health is undertaking a clinical engineering endeavor to create a model that will benefit so many patients in the future. This significant project is well underway, with designs to complete the first bundle and bring the product to market early this year.

Smartphone App Connects Patients to Their Care

As part of our continuing effort to be at the forefront of technology in the health care space, Hackensack University Medical Center unveiled HackensackUMC Mobile Access in February 2016. This smartphone app allows patients within the Hackensack University Medical Center community to access their medical data, search for and connect with Hackensack physicians, and see up-to-date wait times in the Emergency and Trauma Center. In November, the app received a Gold Award for Best Mobile Communications, and a Silver Award for Best Rich Media at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards in Las Vegas, NV. The app is available to download for free in the Apple iTune’s app store.