Federal government agencies in the healthcare field have made bold strides in recent years with improving the delivery of health services more efficiently and cost effectively with the help of IT. While healthcare-focused agencies, including the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), have tackled some major issues including Electronic Health Records (EHR), interoperability, and some significant data-driven projects, they are keen not to rest on their laurels.
Next week AFCEA Bethesda will bring together more than more than 1,000 senior executives and IT leaders from both the private and public sectors at the chapter’s annual Health IT Day. Not only is it a time for federal agencies to showcase their mission-driven success stories, but it provides a unique opportunity for sharing best practices and collaborative problem solving to continue to drive the mission forward.
“The ability for health IT teams from both industry and the federal government to spend the day together is invaluable,” said JR Glass Vice President Health and Civil Unit at CSRA in a recent conversation. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us and to listen to our partners and customers about the challenges they’re facing and understand how we can help them solve these challenges,” he explained.
“We work with nearly every federal agency that has a healthcare-focused mission,” shared Atacan Donmez an Enterprise Transformation and Modernization Expert at CSRA. “While we already partner with agencies in vital areas such as managed services, cloud migration, and the simplification of portals for patients, providers, and payers, events like this, which are so focused, are vital in helping us all to develop and deliver the next milestone solution.”
So what are some of the areas that are on Glass and Donmez’s minds at present? “We really want to help agencies solve end-user challenges,” said Donmez. “There are two key areas in service delivery where everyone struggles – portals and support – regardless of agency, mission, or sector; if we can solve these two challenges, we’ll help agencies deliver on their healthcare missions more effectively and efficiently.”
One agency that has already made great strides towards this goal is the Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS). “The CMS team is invested in improving the portal experience for providers, payers, and citizen-patients alike,” Glass said. “While portals have been around for more than a decade, they’ve never been widely used because they have been inherently complicated in terms of the user interface, but especially when it comes to user credentials. If we can simplify the interface so that it’s a single pane of glass and enable secure access with a single sign on, then we’ve removed some major obstacles to the delivery of healthcare services.”
As for solving support challenges, Donmez said that CSRA is heavily invested in delivering solutions that create a Tier Zero, or a system that empowers the end user to manage their trouble ticket without needing to run to helpdesk support teams for routine issues. “By creating the equivalent of a black box for IT support we’re not only empowering users, but we’re driving efficiencies for IT teams both in terms of the tasks they can accomplish and in terms of budget usage,” he noted.
Beyond these two challenges, there’s a long list of topics from digital information sharing and the creation of a data commons to mitigating fraud, waste, and abuse via a Healthcare Fraud Protection Partnership the CSRA healthcare team are eager to get to dive into. We’re looking forward to catching up with them after the event to hear more about the big issues of the day and Glass and Donmez’s insights on what they think is the next innovation for federal health IT.
Learn more about how CSRA helps federal government agencies solve critical health IT challenges. Download the whitepaper here.