Hackensack Meridian Health & NowPow Connect Patients to Community Resources

Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) has partnered with NowPow, a digital platform to provide patients with personalized referrals to community resources that will help them continue to improve their health after they leave HMH’s care. The network is NowPow’s largest program in the nation, with more than 80,000 patients screened and more than 21,000 referrals for assistance within the first few weeks of launch.

“It is essential for health networks to take a holistic approach to their patients’ health and we are proud to partner with NowPow to help address the social needs impacting our communities,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, HMH. “Our mission is to transform healthcare and part of this mission is creating innovative ways to bridge health equity gaps and ensure that all patients achieve their best health.”

NowPow’s personalized community referral platform connects patients to local resources in their communities, ranging from food banks, rental assistance, transportation assistance to behavioral health, caregiver and mental health support. Key community organizations are partnering with HMH to support their effort including the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Fulfill Food Bank at the Jersey Shore with the goal of onboarding many more community partners in the near future. The network has a goal of reaching 1.2 million patients in the first year throughout HMH’s 17 hospitals and more than 500 patient care locations.

Increasingly, healthcare providers understand that they must focus beyond the radar of traditional healthcare to address issues that greatly impact health – housing and food insecurity, transportation issues, substance abuse and other social issues. The goal is to eliminate gaps in health outcomes based on race, ethnicity and socioeconomic factors.

“HMH is leading in this new comprehensive — all needs, all people — approach to patient care,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO, NowPow. “Recognizing that one-size does not fit all, HMH has established an evidence-based community referral infrastructure that seamlessly meets the unique and ever-changing needs of all patients and care teams. This is key to accelerating the shift to more equitable, value-based care.”

HMH has more than 6,100 clinicians trained on the NowPow platform, which is embedded in its electronic medical record, Epic, allowing care teams to readily screen patients for additional health needs and provide the necessary referrals at the point of care. This comprehensive program comes at a critical time as New Jersey continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and health equality is more important than ever.

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