Holy Name Medical Center, in Teaneck, New Jersey, is the state’s last remaining independent Catholic health system, comprised of a 361-bed acute care medical center, a cancer center, a medical fitness center, a residential hospice, nursing school, and a large physician network. It has a national reputation for providing culturally sensitive care––an especially important consideration for a system that draws patients from the diverse population surrounding the New York City region.

Michael Maron is president and CEO of Holy Name, and has been with the health system for an impressive 36 years. And during his nearly four-decade tenure, Holy Name has remained true to its mission of treating clinicians like family––not contractors or employees. But what is perhaps most remarkable about the health system is its insistence on developing its own software in-house.

And it was during the COVID-19 pandemic that Holy Name took on its most challenging development project to date: a new custom EHR. It wasn’t the scope of the project that was most daunting or challenging –– Holy Name had developed a custom EHR in the past –– it was that they were essentially Ground Zero for COVID-related illness and death in the U.S. Their battle with COVID and related issues landed Holy Name on the cover of TIME magazine.

In this informative episode, Maron joins Dr. Anders for a candid discussion on the factors influencing health systems and healthcare in general, and how his team has addressed the many challenges faced over the past 36 years. Topics discussed include:

  • Anders shares an anecdote from his days with a large Catholic health system
  • Maron’s career path leading to his role at Holy Name
  • healthcare’s exponential advances in medicine, but also increased focus on profit
  • The deterioration of the physician-patient relationship
  • Holy Name aims to maintain a “sacred bond” between doctors and patients by treating staff as partners, not subordinates
  • Focus on the whole person and delivering care as if for a loved family member
  • COVID-19––Holy Name was the epicenter, yet innovated solutions like building their own software for vaccine scheduling and administration
  • How the vaccine scheduling app enabled unprecedented vaccine volume
  • Holy Name’s transition to a new self-developed IT system called Phoenix
  • Focus on care coordination and communication versus maximizing billing
  • Maron believes the healthcare industry has not innovated much in IT and EHR systems, which are often still designed around facilitating billing and revenue
  • Technology should be redesigned and optimized to support value-based care and the doctor-patient relationship versus short-term financial returns
  • “If you had a magic wand and could change anything in healthcare IT today, what would it be?”

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