Benefits of AI in Healthcare: The Industry’s Strategic Next Step

Our data was already growing at an unprecedented rate before the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus and global response have put that into overdrive. 

Rapid adoption of digital solutions, surges in remote interaction with businesses and services, increased consumption of online content, and more have all contributed to larger and richer datasets.  

Venture Beat recently released their 2020 Data and AI Landscape, outlining the stark changes the pandemic has had on data and businesses. 

“Many economic factors are at play, but ultimately financial markets are rewarding an increasingly clear reality long in the making: To succeed, every modern company will need to be not just a software company but also a data company.” – 2020 Data and AI Landscape

COVID-19 has forced businesses across all sectors to become digitally enabled and adapt to changing demands. But what does this mean for businesses? 

The Digital Front Door Creates Expedited Need for Agility

Agile development has been the bread and butter of the software industry for years. But in other sectors, the sudden requirement for digital solutions and urgency to deliver them is a necessary hurdle they must overcome. 

For industries like healthcare, digital adoption is not only necessary for maintaining business, it has been a critical shift to provide essential services during the pandemic.

“The current pandemic overwhelmed health systems and exposed limitations in delivering care and reducing healthcare costs. The period from March 2020 saw an unprecedented shift to virtual health, fueled by necessity and regulatory flexibility.” – Deloitte, Smart Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

That does not appear to be changing. New healthcare interoperability requirements put healthcare data in the hands of the patient. This increased access to data has led to healthcare consumerism and increased expectations for digital healthcare solutions.

The digital front door is open, and stakeholders across the healthcare industry need to adapt.

Looking for an agile development partner

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Healthcare Organizations Look to AI

According to Gartner, organizations are looking to AI and machine learning to realign business practices to new demand patterns. 

These tools will prove critical in understanding and addressing rapid changes in consumer behavior, “particularly now,” Gartner says, “when pre-COVID models based on historical data may no longer be valid.” 

In healthcare specifically, a shift to AI has been a long time coming. In late 2019, Deloitte conducted their “State of AI” survey. Even then, before the pandemic, 3 in 4 healthcare organizations planned to increase AI funding in 2020. 

These numbers have only grown. According to Optum’s Survey on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare, 83% of healthcare organizations already have an AI strategy in place, and most others (15%) plan to create one. 

83% of healthcare organizations already have an AI strategy in place to reap the benefits of AI in healthcare, and most others (15%) plan to create one.

Furthermore, in response to the pandemic, 56% of healthcare organizations are accelerating their AI deployment timelines. 

n response to the pandemic, 56% of healthcare organizations are accelerating their AI deployment timelines to start leveraging the benefits of AI in healthcare

In response to their survey, Deloitte’s experts say, “Enterprises that lean into adoption are likely to gain immediate returns through cost reduction and gain competitive advantage over the longer term as they use AI to transform their products and services to better engage with consumers.”

Ready to leverage AI but not sure how to get started? Learn more about our AI Consulting Service. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS

How Healthcare is Using or Planning to Use AI

How exactly healthcare organizations plan to roll out and leverage AI varies by sector. Research from Optum shows the following sector priorities: 

Hospitals Sector priorities for the Benefits of AI in Healthcare: Priority #1 - Improve Reimbursement Coding (45%), Priority #2 - Monitor Internet of Things (IoT) data (38%), Priority #3 - Accelerate Research (36%) Health Plan Sector priorities for the Benefits of AI in Healthcare: Priority #1 - Improve Reimbursement Coding (40%), Priority #2 - Automate Administrative Processes (40%), Priority #3 - Detect fraud, waste, and abuse (39%)
Life Sciences Sector priorities for the Benefits of AI in Healthcare: Priority #1 - Accelerate Research (47%), Priority #2 - Identify patients for trials (44%), Priority #3 - Enable Personalized Communications (39%) Health Employer Sector priorities for the Benefits of AI in Healthcare: Priority #1 - Monitor IoT data (47%), Priority #2 - Accelerate Research (45%), Priority #3 - Enable Personalized Communications (35%) & Automate Administrative Processes (35%)

 

However, across all sectors — one trend is clear, there seems to be a growing sense of confidence in AI’s ability to deliver value to healthcare organizations. 

One important use case is leveraging AI and predictive modeling to determine future health needs. Organizations are combining social determinants of health (SDOH) data with traditional information sources like electronic medical records and claims forms to create rich and diverse datasets for predictive analytics. 

The pandemic is a realtime case study in how the industry can leverage this information. COVID-19 clinical trials as well as public health experts are using a dynamic database of information to explore treatment and management possibilities. 

According to experts at Gartner, “data and analytics combined with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will be paramount in the effort to predict, prepare and respond in a proactive and accelerated manner to a global crisis and its aftermath.”

Talk to one of our experts to find out how your organization can leverage AI solutions.

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How Application Accelerators Simplify FHIR Implementation

What are Application Accelerators?

Oftentimes, Healthcare IT solutions need to be customized and unique while still being interoperable and secure. 

But here’s the problem. Solutions customized from the ground up can be costly and time-consuming to develop. And unfortunately healthcare IT budgets are already stretched thin. 

So how do healthcare organizations get more from their budget while still accelerating the development of the technology-based solutions consumers want? 

In step innovative application accelerators. 

Designed to bridge that gap, application accelerators sit somewhere between “off-the-shelf” solutions and highly customized or in-house developed platforms. These accelerators, often called plumbing code or reusable frameworks accelerate the delivery of customized applications and more quickly solve core business problems found in healthcare. 

Ready to work with a partner that knows how to solve healthcare’s more pressing technology problems? 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS

 

Application Accelerator Use Case: FHIR Implementation

Here at KMS Technology, we use application accelerators across many of our healthcare solutions. Let’s take a look at an example of how we use application accelerators to speed up FHIR integration…  

Looking for more information about FHIR? Download our free white paper, “Setting Healthcare on FHIR” to learn the benefits of FHIR Implementation, relevant regulations, and who is impacted. 

The Fhir Implementation banner shows a nurse in blue scrubs looking at a tablet. The banner reads "2021 White Paper Setting Healthcare On FHIR" There is a blue button that says "download now"

 

The Problem: A Disconnected Healthcare System

Despite incredible advances in medicine and medical technology, the healthcare industry fails patients in one critical way: access to patient data and health records. 

Just try forwarding your medical records from one provider to another and the problem becomes painfully clear. The fragmented and siloed system consists of loosely connected technologies that really don’t like to play nice with one another.

In an attempt to bring healthcare’s archaic infrastructure into the modern age, the U.S. government enacted the 21st Century Cures: Final Rule. One primary goal of The Act is to promote data sharing and interoperability — creating a more connected healthcare system and guaranteeing patient’s ownership of and access to their own data. 

But where does that leave healthcare stakeholders? What steps do you need to take to meet these new compliance regulations? And how should you tackle the beast that is implementation?  

The Solution: FHIR Implementation Enables Interoperability

Luckily in defining interoperability under the Cures Act, the legislation called for uniform use of FHIR (the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources). 

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, “The HL7 FHIR standard defines how healthcare information can be exchanged between different computer systems regardless of how it is stored in those systems. It allows healthcare information, including clinical and administrative data, to be available securely to those who have a need to access it, and to those who have the right to do so for the benefit of a patient receiving care.” 

While previous healthcare interoperability standards have had varying levels of success, FHIR is different in that it broadens the types of information that can be shared (now including unstructured data), increases the volume of data that can be shared, and improves the applications of interoperability between systems.

 

 FHIR Implementation Using the FHIR Framework Accelerator

With the industry at an important inflection point, how should providers, payers, and health innovators proceed? And how can an application accelerator speed up FHIR Integration?  

At KMS, we have developed our FHIR Framework Accelerator to assist in the development of FHIR APIs. Acting as middleware, the accelerator leverages FHIR APIs and RESTful web services to provide out-of-the-box connectivity. All with the ability to develop new, additional API connectors as needed. 

By starting with the FHIR Framework Accelerator, we are able to simplify and speed up development, reducing costs and improving time-to-market. 

And your organization will be able to better exchange Electronic Health Information (EHI), meet critical 21st Century Cures Act Deadlines, and reap the rewards of a more connected healthcare system. 
 

Get The Free White Paper: Setting Healthcare on FHIR



 

Other Use-Cases for Application Accelerators 

Using an application accelerator for FHIR Integration is just one example. We also use accelerators for test management and automation, digital transformation, AI solutions, and more. 

Ultimately, we know that healthcare organizations need effective solutions quickly. Application accelerators allow us to optimize our Healthcare Technology Solutions so your organization can achieve your goals on budget and on time.  

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS
 

21st Century Cures Act Interoperability & Information Blocking Deadlines [Infographic]

The 21st Century Cures Act outlines interoperability and information blocking regulations that are poised to revolutionize the healthcare industry. 

The goal of 21st Century Cures is to create a more connected healthcare system, ultimately leading to better, more informed care. 

The legislation aims to do this by putting the patient front and center. Interoperability and information blocking regulations enable patient ownership of their own EHI (electronic health information) and easier data sharing across different health systems. 

But the transformation to a more connected healthcare industry won’t happen overnight. 

Lawmakers have taken that into account, outlining key milestones as part of the 21st Century Cures Act: Final Rule

In our most recent webinar, KMS Senior Vice President of Healthcare, Patrick Gardner dove into each milestone and requirements for payers, providers, and healthcare software vendors.

Access the full on-demand webinar now: 



21st Century Cures Act Interoperability & Information Blocking Timeline

We’ve also put together an infographic detailing the timeline and all known deadlines. 

Ready to get to work? Our teams are here to help guide your interoperability transformation. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS

In timeline format, this infographic outlines 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability & Information Blocking Deadlines as well as key dates in creating the legislation. Jan 6, 2015 the Act is introduced to the House. December 2016, President Obama signed the Act into law. March 2019 the ONC issues proposed rule on interoperability. March 9, 2020 the Final Rule for interoperability, information blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program is released. March 11, 2020 the WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic. May 1, 2020 The ONC published the 21st Century Cures Act and the ONC Health IT Certification Program final rule for interoperability. The next section outlines Compliance Deadlines, color coded by information blocking and interoperability. October 2020 - Information blocking compliance dates are extended due to the pandemic. January 1, 2021, Specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are under discretionary enforcement. April 5, 2021, Compliance deadline for Information Blocking provisions limited to the EHI identified by the data elements represented in the USCDI. July 31, 2021, Interoperability Discretionary enforcement ends and full enforcement begins. December 15, 2021 information blocking Real world testing plans are due. January 1, 2022 The Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program sunsets. April 2022, Information Blocking: The first attestations to the Conditions of Certification are required. October 6, 2022 Information Blocking: Compliance with Exceptions Required and the full EHI Definition is in effect. December 31, 2022 The new HL7 "FHIR" API Capabilities and other cures update criteria must be rolled out. March 15, 2023 Information Blocking: Real-world testing results must be submitted. December 32, 2023 Interoperability: Full EHI Export Capability must be rolled out.

Looking for a technology partner with extensive healthcare expertise to guide or execute your interoperability transformation? 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS

 

Upcoming Webinars

Join us throughout the year as we continue to explore 21st Century Cures and Healthcare Technology in our webinar series. Upcoming topics include:

  • New HIPAA Interoperability Rules for 21st Century Cures
  • The Biden Administration’s Updated Opinion on 21st Century Cures
  • A Technologist’s Perspective of SMART on FHIR, HL7 and Proprietary Integrations
  • Improved Time-to-Market with Innovation Accelerators
  • HIPAA Security and Confidentiality in a Global Model
  • Key Healthcare Technologies for 2021 and How KMS Healthcare can Help

 

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What is Interoperability in Healthcare and Why is it Important?

From robots performing complex surgeries to AI helping prevent and predict disease risk – when healthcare and technology come together, the outcomes are nothing short of incredible. 

But why then is this same industry so disjointed and siloed that payers, providers, pharmacies, and more, struggle to safely and securely share patient information? 

If we can create machine learning models that accurately predict disease spread…we should be able to build an integrated healthcare information system that makes sharing patient data simple and secure. 

Luckily innovation and legislation such as the 21st Century Cures Act: Final Rule are working to bridge the gap and modernize data sharing in healthcare

How? Interoperability. 

What is Interoperability in Healthcare? 

Interoperability in healthcare enables various healthcare information technology (HIT) to communicate and exchange information. 

Digging a little deeper, the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS) has outlined four levels of interoperability: 

Level 1 – Foundational

Foundational interoperability establishes interconnectivity between HIT systems, allowing for secure data exchange. 

Level 2 – Structural 

Structural interoperability defines the format, structure, and syntax of data exchange. Structuring data in this way allows healthcare information to move between systems without losing the clinical or operational meaning of the data. 

Level 3 – Semantic

Semantic Interoperability combines standardized data structures, value sets, and vocabulary to simplify data interpretation. This standardization improves the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare delivery. 

Level 4 – Organizational 

Organizational Interoperability facilitates secure and timely data sharing through governance, policy, and organizational regulations. 

Looking for a partner to lead and execute your interoperability strategy? 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS
 

Why is Interoperability Important in Healthcare?

From a provider perspective, interoperability will give healthcare professionals easy access to more complete patient records, allowing for more informed care. Additionally, physicians will be able more easily share relevant information with specialists, other clinics, hospitals, and more. 

For patients, current legislation and increasing interoperability across the entire healthcare network will lead to better care. Patients will have ownership and insight into their entire medical history. 

At the core, the primary benefit is better care. But let’s explore how interoperability enables improved care.

 

Benefits of Healthcare Interoperability 

Insight into Patients’ Complete Spectrum of Care

The goal of interoperability is to offer a holistic view of a patient’s medical history and needs, regardless of the different technologies their providers, pharmacies, or payers use.  

Let’s look at a patient example. We will call her Sue. 

Sue has a primary care doctor affiliated with one hospital system. She also sees a therapist and psychiatrist affiliated with a different system. She fills her prescriptions at whatever pharmacy happens to be on her way home from work. And stops into a quick clinic while visiting her kid at college. 

The reality is, Sue is a very typical American medical patient. 

But let’s say she takes a vacation. While driving home, she gets into an accident and is taken to the hospital. Interoperability will give her providers easy and timely access to her information regardless of system or regional boundaries. 

New interoperability standards combined with health data exchange architectures and application interfaces allow for portable patient health information (PHI). Easier access to PHI will lead to better individual and global care. 

Interconnected Points of Care 

How patients are accessing healthcare is changing. COVID-19 has only expedited this transformation. 

Whether it be telehealth or a digital pre-appointment screening, the “digital front door” creates new points of patient care leveraging the technology patients already use. 

Interoperable systems allow for new, interconnected points of care and the ability to automate data exchange accordingly. 

Improved Efficiency and Reduced Operational Costs 

Experts say implementing interoperability will save the U.S. health system over $30 billion per year. How? 

First, interoperable infrastructures enable automation. Providers can define trigger events (like following up on a referral visit) to initiate data exchange. 

Additionally, with access to the full medical record, doctors reduce the risk of duplicating tests and performing redundant procedures. 

What’s more, giving patients more control over their own data will reduce time spent on administrative tasks. 

Interoperability reduces manual workflows, administrative overhead, and opportunity for error

At the same time, interoperability optimizes efficiency, freeing up provider time and allowing practices to treat more patients, improve care quality, and increase margins. 

Opportunities for Innovation

In addition to the impact on operational efficiencies and cost savings, interoperability also creates new opportunities for innovation.  

Previously, moving into the healthcare market has been a tough sell for top innovators due to dispersed and highly customized environments. The disparity between systems made it challenging to integrate and scale new solutions. 

Connected and more standardized systems create opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovative technologists to push healthcare even further. 

Where to Start Your Interoperability Transformation

Ultimately, interoperability is a win for the healthcare industry. But that does not mean the transformation is simple. 

By working with a partner like KMS Technology, you get the best of both worlds: deep healthcare expertise and over a decade of experience building cutting-edge technology. 

For providers and payers, our experts can guide your interoperability strategy, help you select the right technology, and/or execute your interoperability transformation. 

For vendors looking to tap into the new innovative opportunities interoperability brings, we can help you build your platform and scale your teams

Let’s work together. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS
 

What is the Cures Act and How will it Impact Healthcare Technology

What is the Cures Act?

Just over 6 years ago the 21st Century Cures Act was first introduced as a bill to the House of Representatives. With a focus on Electronic Health Information (EHI) and data interoperability, the Act was poised to shift how the industry uses and shares information. 

After nearly a year of negotiations, the bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in late 2016. Under the Trump administration, the Final Rule was published on May 1, 2020. 

So fast forward to today. How does the 21st Century Cures Act Impact Healthcare? And what do these new regulations mean for providers, patients, healthcare technology, and more? 

Our Senior Vice President of Healthcare, Patrick Gardner takes on these questions in our recent webinar. 

Access the full on-demand webinar now: 



The Focus of the 21st Century Cures Act

Patrick walks us through how the legislation came to be and the intended goals for the industry.

For the most part, the evolution of this legislation was bi-partisan, which means it’s likely in the best interest of the country. At the core of the 21st Century Cures Act and ONC Final Rules Act is the patient. 

This patient-focused legislation ensures patient ownership of their EHI and is intended to foster “an ecosystem of new applications” through interoperability. 

 

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3 Key Components of the ONC Cures Act Final Rule

Diving a little deeper, Patrick took us through the three key components of the ONC Cures Act Final Rule: 

21st Century Cures Technology Best Practices 

Finally, we look at the path for defining and executing your interoperability strategy. Depending on how far along your organization is, Patrick advised different focus areas for your technology and best practices. 

explaining What is the Cures Act, this image shows the timeline of key activities organizations should be completing. First being interopeerrability strategy, second FHIR Server Selected, and lastly Interoperability Transformation.

Ultimately, the 21st Century Cures Act impacts the entire healthcare industry. As a result, the industry must adapt existing technologies and develop new ones to remain competitive and deliver better care.

No matter where your team is in the process, KMS is here to advise and help. Our experts can help you choose the right technology, quickly ramp up a team to execute your interoperability transformation, or offer consulting services to plan out and prioritize your timeline. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS
 

Upcoming Webinars

Join us throughout the year as we continue to explore 21st Century Cures and Healthcare Technology in our webinar series. Upcoming topics include: 

  • Readiness for 21st Century Cures, a Timeline of Events
  • New HIPAA Interoperability Rules for 21st Century Cures
  • The Biden Administration’s Updated Opinion on 21st Century Cures
  • A Technologist’s Perspective of SMART on FHIR, HL7 and Proprietary Integrations
  • Improved Time-to-Market with Innovation Accelerators
  • HIPAA Security and Confidentiality in a Global Model
  • Key Healthcare Technologies for 2021 and How KMS Healthcare can Help

 

Want us to let you know when the next webinar will be? 

Share the Next Webinar
 

SaaS Technology Preparedness for Acquisition Due Diligence

KMS Technology’s COO, Leo Tucker recently sat down for a virtual coffee talk with Software Equity Group’s (SEG) Managing Partner, Allen Cinzori. The two discussed how SaaS companies can prepare for an M&A process and common challenges that might arise. 

To kick off the conversation, Allen shared an experience he had remodeling his house. After getting beautiful plans drawn up from an architect, he submitted them to the city only to find that they didn’t meet some of the requirements. 

He likened this time-consuming and costly misstep to challenges that could arise in an M&A process, asking Leo “What are the four 101 technology diligence items that SaaS CEOs should consider if they are interested in liquidity in the near term or next 2-3 years?” 

4 Technology Diligence Items to Consider For an Upcoming Liquidity

Document, Document, Document

“If you are not sure…document,” Leo advises, “document more than you need to.” 

He goes on to explain that adequate documentation will make the diligence process a lot easier. The organization performing the diligence assessment will have a better understanding of what is going on, and SaaS leaders will be able to better and more clearly tell their product’s story. 

For those with a process right around the corner, good news. Leo explains this is something that can be done in a matter of weeks, offering a near-term but impactful action item. 

Know Where Your Issues Are…Before You Are Asked About Them 

Leo advises bringing in a third party to look at your architecture, examine your code, and talk to your team. This unbiased opinion offers insight into how you stack up, where issues lie, and more. 

With this information, organizations can proactively address issues and are better positioned for liquidity.  

Be Able to Tell Your Story 

Knowing how to tell your story is an important piece of the puzzle. Leo explains that some companies have brilliant technologists and thorough documentation, but they can’t tell their story. 

“Identify who on your team tells the technology story in a compelling way,” Leo recommends. This person should be able to tell your story so that it is easily understood by both a business and technical audience. 

Use the Time You Have 

So what if a company has more time and is 2-3 years out? Leo shares that those organizations should spend the time fixing some of these underlying technical issues. 

Allen follows up, asking “how do they know that they have those issues?” He goes on to explain, oftentimes people will be in a diligence process and then find out about an issue they were unaware of. 

“There are 2 sure-fire ways,” Leo explains. 

  1. Your customers will tell you. Listen to them.
  2. Bring in an outside third party who can take a look and give you an honest and unbiased view

Looking for an unbiased partner for your acquisition due diligence?

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The Most Common Mistake Sellers Make in Acquisition Due Diligence

Leo shares that one of the most common issues he encounters in an M&A process is when people begin to answer a question or talk to a topic that they don’t firmly understand. 

It’s very common,” Leo says, “and it’s so preventable with coaching. The easiest takeaway is just to say, “hey, you know what, I’m not certain. Let me get back to you.” It’s important to remember that the people on the other side of the table are people too. They understand, and they would rather you come back with the right answer.”

Key Boxes a Buyer Checks When Performing a Tech Review

People, process, technology.

Questions A Diligence Partner Typically Asks: 

How distributed is the knowledge?

It’s a big red flag when all of the knowledge lives in one person’s head. Leo shares that KMS recommends a combination of adequate documentation and training a backup person.

What’s your development methodology? And what’s your requirements-gathering methodology? 

These questions help uncover the source of innovation. If all of the requirements are coming from one person, that is probably not a sustainable model for a product. 

On the development process side, the question becomes will this scale? 

VC and PE firms are investing for one reason, they want that business to grow. If the development team can’t scale because their process doesn’t work, they have a real problem.

Allen adds an anecdote he always tells clients, “when you are answering questions…pick the [answer] that meshes sustainability and scalability.” He goes on to share a story of a seller who sung the praises of his development team. 

The buyers’ takeaway? They believed he had an incredible team but worried that they couldn’t find comparable people to continue to scale and grow the business. 

What open-source code do you have? 

With a Black Duck Audit, someone will come in and look for that source code. Why? People want to understand the security and licensing. 

Leo explains open-source code can present some security issues and licensing can open you up to litigation. 

Know where your open source is and have it documented.

What is the tech stack?  

What is the tech stack and why did you make some of the decisions that you made around it? 

“In a lot of cases,” Leo explains, “decisions are very defensible.” Even if you don’t have the most modern tech stack, you just need to be prepared to explain why.  

If you had to do it all over again, what changes would you make? 

This question is a great way to uncover issues that someone might not mention outright. 

Allen shares that it’s important to remember that at this phase a buyer wants to close a deal. They are not trying to find issues, but rather trying to understand how significant issues are and what will be involved to fix them. 

Recognize where your weaknesses are and be open and transparent. 

What is one piece of advice for a software CEO entering into an M&A Process? 

Leo recommends engaging an outside source to look over your code and understand your processes. This unbiased review will help you identify any problem areas before you get into the M&A process, instead of uncovering them once you are in a process. 

An investment of a few thousand dollars could potentially mean millions on the other end.

Work with KMS Technology on technology due diligence and ensure you are prepared for your M&A process.

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KMS Gives in 2020: How We Spread Good During the Pandemic

Reflecting on 2020 feels a little (a lot) different than looking back on past years. 

But during a year when safely supporting our community was more important than ever, we are proud to report that the KMS team didn’t miss a beat. 

This year we…

Gave over 3,300 hours of our time

Our U.S. team gave 610 hours to our favorite charity organizations. Meeting our Pledge 1% goal by 106%.

Our Vietnam teams gave 2,724 hours and hosted 13 community projects.

 

Volunteered Together

Before projects moved online, we packaged 1,347 meals with Open Hand Atlanta. Open Hand is an Atlanta-based organization that provides meals to homebound seniors, people with disabilities, those living with chronic illnesses, and at-risk families. 

In a group selfie, members of the KMS team are seen smiling and wearing mesh hairnets. Those with beards also have nets that cover the lower half of their face.

 

Continued Working with Some of Our Favorite Organizations

48in48

For the 3rd year in a row, KMS sponsored and built websites with 48in48

This year’s virtual, global event included volunteers across 16 timezones (with the KMS team representing a few!)

 
 

We helped man the support channel and built 2 non-profit websites

    • Exceptional Foundation of Atlanta — The site launch was a fundraiser for the organization, and helped them raise over $1000! The Exceptional Foundation supports adults with special needs after they age out of public school, and often lose the support the school system provides. 
    • Good Samaritan Meals – Good Samaritan Meals keeps usable food out of landfills and redirects that food to those in need. They do this by bridging the gap between grocery stores, restaurants, and other food providers and connecting them to organizations that can distribute the food to those that need it. 

 

PerScholas

We participated in multiple Resume Workshops for this term’s PerScholas students. PerScholas is an ongoing partner for KMS. The organization teaches in-demand technology skills to underemployed individuals, resulting in transformative technology careers.

 

Passerelles numériques Vietnam

KMS continued its partnership with Passerelles numériques Vietnam (PNV), sponsoring facility funding, specialized training courses, scholarships, and more. Our teams also offer internship opportunities for the students to gain tangible work experience. Read about this summer’s intern Mai Thuong.

A woman sits in front of a computer working in an office. A pink coffee cup sits on her desk.

Adapted How We Give Back

With shelter-in-place orders and social distancing in place, we transformed how we serve some of our favorite organizations. Since March, KMSers gave over 450 distanced or virtual hours to organizations like the Atlanta Blood Services, CSA Impact, SMASH, West Cobb Islamic Center, Nana Grants, Atlanta Youth Academy, and so many more! 

We are proud to share that despite all of the changes this year brought, the KMS team prioritized giving back and supporting our communities. 

If you want to know more about KMS Gives and the initiatives we support, check out our KMS Gives page.

Looking for a development or testing partner that aligns with your values?

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U.S. Businesses Benefit from Vietnam’s COVID-19 Response

Let’s rewind to January 2020. The world was beginning to learn more about a new virus stemming out of Wuhan, China. Flashbacks to SARS, MERS, and other related viruses had the global health community speculating about what this virus could mean for the region and potentially the world. 

On January 22nd, Vietnam reported its first case, a 65-year-old traveler from Wuhan. Since then, the country has been lauded as one of the most successful in the world at containing the novel coronavirus.  

Why? As of writing this article, despite sharing its northern border with China, the country has seen less than 1,500 reported cases with over 1,000 of those reported as recovered and only 35 fatal. Vietnam is home to over 97 million people, which makes these numbers especially impressive. 

During the early stages of the outbreak, Vietnam acted quickly. “The government quickly closed international borders, called for widespread use of masks, and established strict quarantine and aggressive contact-tracing procedures,” reports the New York Times

These measures seemed to have worked. The country went nearly 100 consecutive days without a new case before an outbreak in Danang occurred in August. By implementing a similar swift response to this second wave, Vietnamese leaders were able to keep cases relatively low. 

The impacts of this swift and strict response have had economic implications as well. Unlike most countries during this time, the Vietnamese economy has remained relatively stable. The country actually saw moderate year-over-year GDP growth of 0.39% in Q2 and a healthy growth of 2.62% in Q3. 

What does this mean for KMS and our customers? 

The stability of Vietnam’s government was integral to their response; that same stability is a hallmark of KMS. In times of turmoil, reliability is essential, particularly for a company whose partner is located across the world. 

With 1,000 employees in Vietnam, the country’s response combined with strategic action taken by our Vietnamese and U.S.-based leadership teams have allowed us to seamlessly continue providing services to our customers. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KMS
 

Whereas other offshore providers faced obstacles and delays from being located disparately throughout their regions with only remote collaboration, the KMS team has been able to continue providing for our customers with minimal to no impact. Our Vietnam offices remained intact with offshore client teams still able to effectively collaborate both in and out of the office.

To that end, the KMS Vietnam team continues to be able to ramp up almost immediately in support of new clients as well as enhance the technical capabilities & coverage for our client engineering teams. 

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Why KMS is One of Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For

KMS Technology has been named one of Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2020. This honor distinguishes organizations with thoughtful and innovative approaches to human resources.

Given by the National Association for Business Resources, the award strives to promote “better business, richer lives, and stronger communities.” Companies of all sizes and across industries are eligible to apply and are evaluated on:

  • Compensation, Benefits, and Employee Solutions
  • Employee Enrichment, Engagement, and Retention
  • Employee Education and Development
  • Recruitment, Selection, and Orientation
  • Employee Achievement and Recognition
  • Communication and Shared Vision
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Community Initiatives
  • Strategic Company Performance


Trust one of Atlanta’s Best and Brightest with your next software project.

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What Makes KMS a Great Place to Work

KMS was recognized because of the care our Human Resources team puts into creating a work environment that benefits employees both in and out of the office. In-office, our HR leaders create a productive and fun work environment with weekly lunches, birthday and milestone celebrations, offsite events and happy hours, regular service projects, a wellness room, and more. The impact for employees continues outside of the office with the robust benefits package. In addition to typical benefits, KMS covers both employees’ and dependents’ healthcare premiums, cell phone bills, and reimburses home internet expenses. These benefits make working from home even easier, and unlimited PTO lets employees take the time they need, when they need it.

While the tangible benefits are great, ultimately it is the team culture and truly enjoying coming to work everyday that makes KMS Technology one of Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.

A Unique Time for Employers

Needless to say, 2020 has brought unique challenges to organizations. The onset of COVID-19 in Atlanta caused many to pivot and learn how to work and do business from home.

During this time, strong HR leadership has been more important than ever. The extra care that the KMS leadership and HR team has put into keeping employees safe, productive, and happy has further exemplified the teams’ merit for this honor.

In addition to taking measures around employee safety, weekly town halls with HR and one-on-one meetings with leadership have given employees the opportunity to be heard and have proven invaluable during uncertain times.

We are excited to share this honor and thankful for our HR and leadership teams for the hard work they do to make KMS Technology one Atlanta’s Best and Brightest.

COVID-19: Preparing for the New World of Healthcare Software Development

The healthcare industry is in the midst of facing a critical time. The implications brought on by COVID-19 evolve daily.

As healthcare workers and support staff work on the frontlines of a global pandemic, leaders in healthcare software and IT are uniquely positioned to lend extra support to the industry. 

To those health technology leaders, KMS is here to help. We offer healthcare software development and quality assurance services to give you the capacity to manage the influx in demand and ensure top-notch security. 

How Can We Help? 
 

How Healthcare Software Development Companies Can and Are Responding:

As shelter-in-place orders and social distancing measures continue to increase,  the need for digitally enabled technology has never been more apparent. 

Software is stepping in to streamline healthcare services and life sciences research. Telemed and digital patient care solutions, remote prescription services, digital and mobile insurance platforms, and more have all seen an influx in usage

The pressure is on for solutions in this space to scale and meet demand. Those that do so play an essential role in supporting the world in a time of crisis and position themselves to come out stronger at the end. 

Heightened Need for Innovative Solutions 

The increased demand for digitally enabled platforms has created a catalyst for software companies to innovate and reevaluate how they are delivering solutions to the healthcare industry. 

Companies that truly stand out are those that are able to shift focus and fill a need in the industry. How are some of the industry leaders already doing that? 

Thermo Fisher Scientific 

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a world-leading software provider for healthcare, life sciences, and research labs. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, their teams have worked to rapidly develop a “RT-PCR diagnostic kit to enable clinical and public health laboratories to quickly diagnose COVID-19.” The kit allows clinical laboratories to test 94 patient specimens in under 3 hours. 

SOC Telemed

SOC Telemed is a telemedicine platform. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the company has used its acute (hospital-based) telemedicine platform to limit clinician exposure and maximize clinical capacity. 

ERT

ERT is a leading provider of electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePro) solutions and consulting services. The company is offering “immediate and discounted access” to their vaccines eDiary platform for any COVID-19 vaccine research. They have also offered virtual trials so critical clinical research can continue without risking patient safety. 

LexisNexis 

LexisNexis Risk Solutions leverages data analytics to reduce risk and inform decisions for the insurance, financial services, healthcare, and government sectors. They are offering their solution, ThreatMetrix to healthcare providers as a secure and seamless remote logging system for drive-through COVID-19 testing.

How You Can Handle the Influx in Demand 

In a previous post, we shared some tips on how to prepare for peak season. And while this isn’t quite the same as preparing for Black Friday, some of the tips we shared then are just as relevant now. 

System downtime is expensive — it impacts revenue and in a healthcare setting, can waste valuable time. By ensuring your platform is ready for a potential influx of users, health tech companies can do their part to reduce the load on the healthcare industry. 

Leverage the Cloud

A cloud-enabled platform is a great place to start. The cloud allows companies to expand computing and storage capacity. This means your teams can respond to spikes in traffic and tackle performance issues as they come up. 

A Great QA Strategy 

For software in the health and life sciences space, a quality assurance strategy focusing on performance is an essential way to ensure your platform is ready for increased demand. 

You specifically want to focus on 3 types of testing

  • Performance testing — which helps you understand how your platform performs under typical conditions
  • Load testing — to understand how much traffic your platform can handle
  • Stress testing — which gives insight on how your platform performs under extreme loads 

This trifecta of tests allows you to identify and resolve failure points and system bottlenecks. You can also more accurately predict how many servers you will need to respond to spikes in traffic. 

A good QA partner will create an automation strategy that not only allows you to identify performance bottlenecks but eliminates a testing bottleneck and keeps delivery moving.

Prepare your Maintenance and Support Team

If your application does fail because of the influx of traffic, there are ways you can prepare your support teams to bounce back: 

  1. During development, build in clear and descriptive messaging. Your support teams will be able to more easily troubleshoot problems and resolve errors quickly.
  2. Loop in your service analysts during development. By having them review the code, they better understand potential failure points and how to address them.
  3. Create a searchable error log for efficient troubleshooting. 

As leaders in development, quality assurance, and consulting services, KMS can help you prepare your platform during this time. Let us know how we can support your product. 

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Processing and Securely Managing Data 

An influx in usage means an influx of data. Platforms handling secure patient or clinical trial data have three key needs: 

  1. The ability to store and process growing amounts of data
  2. Data security and regulatory compliance
  3. Accurate and timely reporting/data recall

Data Storage and Processing

Healthcare data is expected to experience a 36% compound annual growth through 2025. However, healthcare continues to perform below average in some areas of data competency. 

This presents a great opportunity for software solutions to step in and address the industry need. This also means that software in the industry must be mindful that they chose development partners that are able to work with ever-growing datasets. 

Take KMS for example, we have refined our data analytics services into a well-oiled machine.

Over the years we have worked with over 30 Million patient records and 100 Million patient visits.

With one client alone, we handle over 10 years of data, equaling 1.5+ Petabytes of provider data across 8 Million+ providers. 

Data Security and Compliance 

Healthcare data contains some of the most highly regulated user information. So it’s important that software in this space keeps data secure and compliant. 

When working with a development partner, you want to look for an ISO 9000 certified provider. 

To keep data secure, at a minimum, we recommend using: 

  • A VPN site-to-site set up to create an encrypted channel that keeps the data secure 
  • Multi-layer security network that includes Firewall, Delimiter zone, virtual LAN, and more 
  • Physical data center security
  • Elaborate authentication password policies  

Your provider should also be up to date on the latest U.S. Healthcare IT regulations outlined by:

 

Fast Analytics and Reporting

Accessing necessary records and information quickly is essential for this industry. You do not want your system to be the bottleneck delaying someone’s care or clinical trials for a vaccine. 

So what can you do? By using a scalable architecture, like microservices built on the cloud, you can store and work with big data relatively easily. Want to know more? Check out our post on how microservices handle big data

Take one of our clients for example. This provider of analytics tools for the insurance and healthcare industries came to us needing to upgrade their data reporting for their end-users. 

We worked with their in-house architects to implement a new microservices-based technology that utilized a NoSQL database and Elasticsearch to reduce the amount of time data changes took to process. This moved them from a weekly report showing a snapshot of static data to a system that shows data changes in near real-time. 

What Are You Doing to Stay Ahead and How Can We Help? 

KMS Technology specializes in serving healthcare (providers and payers) and IT software companies who are looking to leave their mark on their industry. If you need support to scale or develop your solution, we are here to help. 

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