Hackensack Meridian Health: Best in class reporting to drive improvements, resiliency

Ever feel like your technological solutions are not providing an accurate view of the whole patient and their clinical health? Perhaps your utilization review team is being asked to check the boxes green, but to also check their clinical judgment at the door? 

Leaders at Hackensack Meridian Health felt their solutions left room for improvement. A couple of years later, their relationship with Xsolis – and switching to its AI-driven technology, Dragonfly Utilize, formerly known as CORTEX, has led to significant improvements. 

Unlike traditional solutions that heavily rely on manual, administrative tasks, Dragonfly Utilize uses patient data from the EMR and applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to render a Care Level Score that predicts a patient’s most appropriate status, inpatient or outpatient with observation status. Hackensack Meridian Health has leveraged Dragonfly Utilize from both a transparency and efficiency standpoint to effectively transform their utilization review (UR) and Physician Advisor teams, according to leaders Maria Mazzini, Manager of Utilization; Cinthia (Cindy) Neumany, SVP Clinical Operations, Population Health; and Kristine (Kris) Rovell, Regional Director, Care Management, Central Region.

Reporting that makes data geeks rejoice

The group is a trio of self-professed data geeks, and they agree Xsolis’ robust reporting capabilities have been the biggest game-changer.  

“Whereas you can really only be in one room at a time,” said Maria, “XSOLIS allows us to be there in every room – in our chart, in our EMR, they make it so much easier to get the information we need to do our jobs well.”

Hackensack recently presented during XCHANGE 2022 about how to customize reporting to drive systemic change throughout the larger organization. Their efforts are strengthened as they offer staff ongoing workshops and training to continually expand their knowledge base.

“(The reporting) provides transparency we never had before, which is affecting real change,” said Cindy.

Even while her staff readily admitted there was room for improvement with previous solutions, Cindy acknowledges it takes time to prepare people for a new technology solution such as CORTEX to be introduced and for everyone to adapt. “But if you stop using other products and just go forward … it works. And with XSOLIS, you really can see things in a different way,” she said. 

‘The Xsolis way’ can create happier, better resourced staff

Proactive and systemic change has been especially important for Hackensack Meridian Health to address the healthcare industry’s most pressing issue – the staffing shortage – which is the second area where leaders say they’ve experienced the most benefits. Staffing challenges have been especially pervasive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they recently displaced financial concerns for the first time in 17 years as hospital executives’ main concern.

The Hackensack team implemented CORTEX using a buddy system approach. This enabled more consistent processes and a sense of continuity to get new staff up to speed more easily. They credit “the XSOLIS way” of doing things with helping them achieve more resiliency as an organization to better manage the industry’s volatile staffing ebbs and flows. 

Getting through more reviews, in a highly prioritized fashion, means being able to pull limited staff resources into different, more rewarding areas where they can be as efficient as possible. Its leaders describe this as “invaluable” in bringing back the clinical judgment required of nurses and Physician Advisors – making better use of their most precious resources and their invaluable clinical expertise. 

Best of all? “They love the product,” according to Kris. 

Hear more from Hackensack Meridian Health leaders in a recent Becker’s webinar