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O’Callaghan Recognized for Embodying Cardinal Innovations’ Culture Attributes

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — October 7, 2019 — 4 min read
Access Clinical Supervisor Maureen O’Callaghan, a member of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare’s Cultural Ambassadors accountability team, said she believes in leading by example.

“My true involvement is to practice what I preach with regard to Cardinal Innovations and the different culture attributes,” she said. “I cannot ask my team to be accountable or act with integrity if I don’t demonstrate those same attributes to them and others. This goes for all culture attributes.”

O’Callaghan has worked for Cardinal Innovations for 13 years (12 years in the Access Department). Access Call Center Manager Shadale Jacobs said O’Callaghan embodies Cardinal Innovations’ culture attributes.

“Maureen is a consistent leader who models accountability, integrity, and empowerment on a daily basis,” Jacobs said. “(She) continues to find new and innovative ways to improve processes and procedures within Access that promote collaboration and gain clarity within workflows. She also always offers supportto help her peers, manager, director and anyone needing assistance.”

O’Callaghan said her role is to ensure that Access team members are equipped to handle crisis call after crisis call, and still come back to work the next day. “My success, and the success of Access, depends on the team members that answer these calls each day,” she said.

“Typical days don’t exist within the Access Department,” she added. “We are a 24/7 department that never stops. Crisis calls occur throughout the day and I work to support my team. This may be as basic as finding resources, explaining procedures or reaching out to help team members debrief after an intense suicidal/homicidal call.”

The Access Department also approves inpatient authorizations. O’Callaghan’s role in that is to ensure the team members understand the different authorization guidelines and medical necessity, ensuring member needs are met while inpatient but also once discharged, she said.

Access also works to ensure that Cardinal Innovations’ members have options for their specific treatment needs. O’Callaghan helped with a project to create an Access Provider Search, allowing Access to track details on network providers and their treatment specialties.

“Each time we receive notification of a new provider to the network, this information is uploaded to our system,” she said. “This way the Access staff can find provider options to meet member needs quickly without having to search the internet.”

The Access Provider Search was made possible with the collaboration of the Network Department. Their daily email notification helps Access stay up to date and also allows Access to reach out to new providers that may meet a gap in the scheduling calendar.

Jacobs said O’Callaghan routinely finds new and innovative ways to improve processes and procedures within Access. Recently, Access started a new process with acute authorizations that has allowed collaboration to occur between Access, Clinical Supports and Utilization Management (UM).

“To ensure that I have a full understanding of these processes and to ensure different teams respond in the same manner, I have regularly reached out to these departments offering input and to seek guidance. The goal is to provide the same response to our providers and team members,” O’Callaghan said.

Another example of how O’Callaghan has sought ways to improve processes is related to Member Service Agreements (MSAs) for Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs).

“An opportunity arose in which I could see the benefit of Access having greater involvement in this process,” O’Callaghan said. “Collaboration with Care Coordination and Network allowed Access to ensure that all pieces were received prior to the member needing immediate authorization. This team work ensured greater communication and confirmation that all pieces to the puzzle were put in place.”

O’Callaghan said her interest in behavioral healthcare began in college when she encountered a roommate who had a parent with behavioral health needs. She later spent a summer break working with individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.

“Each day was a different experience. I realized that one of my strengths was thinking on my feet when faced with a crisis situation,” she said. “I truly enjoy working in a field in which every day is different and I can help others manage their crisis concerns. Hopefully, interactions with myself and the Access Team members strengthen those that call us in need.”

Prior to working for Cardinal Innovations, O’Callaghan was employed with The Guilford Center’s diversion team, specializing in working with members who used the state hospitals the most and those who were discharged after lengthy hospital stays.

O’Callaghan said one thing most people don’t know about her is that she lived in Alaska for two summer in college. “The first I was a housekeeping attendant at a hotel in Skagway. The second summer I lived at a home for teenage girls while working at a Women’s Homeless Shelter in Anchorage,” she said.

When she’s not working, O’Callaghan’s passion is running. Her favorite races are those in great vacation spots.
“Although I am not a champion runner, this sport allows my brain to clear and, at times, I am able to brainstorm solutions to challenges that may exist with work,” she said.

The people are the best part about working for Cardinal Innovations, she said.

“Access management and team members genuinely enjoy working with each other to resolve challenges, meet member needs and strengthen Cardinal. Days can be tough, but when you work with a strong team, you enjoy coming back the next day,” she said.
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