Innovation and agility and their ability to drive efficiency were the top terms overhead at the recent FedTalks event held in Washington D.C. last month. Speakers from across the public and private sectors challenged the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality that commonly characterizes thinking within the federal government and encouraged change and modernization.
One of the headline speakers at the event was Bryan Spivak, Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A recognized leader in IT innovation for his recent work in integrating IT into the delivery of healthcare solutions, Spivak challenged his peers to use IT to innovate and deliver their agency’s mission more efficiently. He emphasized that “in today’s world we need to be able to, as a government, react to change in a much quicker way. We need to be proactive; we need to be rapidly responsive.”
Spivak illustrated this point through HHS’ Ignite, an initiative to change government culture and elicit new ways of thinking. Using the example of two medical professionals from the White River Service Unit, who wanted to improve wait times at an Indian Health Service hospital in Arizona, Spivak gave practical insight into his call to action.
With the support of HHS Ignite, medical personnel were able to devise a Fast Track ER, decreasing the number of patients leaving without care from over 18% to just over 1% per day. Additionally, they found that with an investment of $85,000 they could recapture $6 million in lost revenue. Initiatives such as these don’t just improve productivity but also reduce the costs of service delivery, relieving pressure on budgets, and allowing funds to be redirected into other patient-oriented programs.
Given this superior track record in leading innovation in healthcare IT, Spivak and the HHS are one of the key partners in the Federal Health Architecture (FHA). The FHA brings together military and civilian agencies including the Defense Health Administration Social Security Administration, HHS, and Veterans Health Administration, to share best practices that can streamline service delivery in everything from electronic healthcare records, to barcode tracking for drugs and prescriptions, as well as meeting the challenge of sharing data while maintaining privacy and security standards, as well as ensuring patient safety.
Recently senior government IT leaders collaborating on the FHA sat down to discuss how they are using technology to drive efficiency and improve mission delivery. Their conversation was recorded and posted on Federal News Radio. Why not listen in and see what best practices your agency has already implemented, the areas in which you could innovate, or perhaps where your team is doing groundbreaking work. Click here to access the recording.