Current and emerging technologies play an important role in improving health care access and health outcomes in the federal health IT landscape, and industry partners like General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) are working with agencies to help them execute their missions better today and also provide a roadmap for the future.
Since its 2018 acquisition of CSRA, Inc., GDIT’s health care business has grown to comprise much of its current federal work. GDIT acquired CSRA partly because of the healthcare services synergies between the two companies, according to Jermon Bafaty, GDIT’s federal health sector growth leader, who spoke at the April 4 GovernmentCIO Media & Research CXO Tech Forum: Health IT Modernization.
Today GDIT provides a range of services within the health IT federal marketplace, including data analytics, customer experience solutions, enterprise IT, life sciences and medical research and operational medicine solutions, and it is one of the largest cloud integrators working in the federal government, according to Bafaty.
Bafaty identified health care access and data as two points of emphasis in federal health IT.
He echoed previous event speakers as he reiterated the need to improve and expand health IT access across federal agencies, especially those dealing directly with patients like VA and CMS.
“DHA is really focused on having a medically ready and medical-ready force. The VA is trying to bring access to care to veterans quickly and more efficiently,” Bafaty said.
Along with improving and expanding patient access, Bafaty emphasized the importance of data and data analytics in the federal health IT landscape moving forward. Leveraging clinical, claims and benefits data would allow industry partners like GDIT to proactively reach out to veterans who may need be in need of care before those patients decide to visit a doctor.
Industry partners like GDIT also want to help the federal government unlock data. Clinical data repositories with massive amounts of customer data could be leveraged to give more control to VA veteran customers to focus on preventative healthcare to keep veterans out of the hospital.
Within HHS there are also opportunities for data analytics and predictive analytics to predict epidemic outbreaks and safety issues to combat problems before they happen, according to Bafaty.
Data and data analytics represent an impactful opportunity that government and industry can coalesce around moving forward to provide better care, according to Bafaty. Bafaty and GDIT are excited about “being able to take that data and really turn it into some core information for our customer community,” according to Bafaty.
“I love to see the conversation on data. As much as data analytics is the buzzword of today, what I would say is that, you know, that is the next frontier,” Bafaty said.
Regarding that frontier, Bafaty praised VA for being open to seeking innovative solutions from industry partners and being clear about its priorities.
That openness allows industry partners like GDIT to demonstrate value to the VA and begin to implement pilot programs to explore IT and managed service solutions. Sometimes, those pilots will expand within the system, ultimately in the service of executing the VA’s mission to serve its veteran customers, and sometimes those pilots fail. But they key is to learn from those failures, improve, move on and try again, according to Bafaty.
“We’re going to continue to invest. Our leadership has made that commitment to invest in talent and in industry partnerships … to deliver that higher level of service beyond infrastructure, cloud capabilities and really moving up the stack … to better clinical decision-making processes for our customers,” Bafaty said.