Acumen Solutions has been selected to provide a cloud-computing CRM and Project Management solution to the US Department of Health & Human Services – Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
Marty Young is Acumen’s Managing Director of the Public Sector and tells Fed Cloud Blog all about what they’ll be doing for HHS, as well as what they’ve done for other federal agencies.
He starts off by explaining how this project is related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
MY: Part of the ARRA allocated a lot of money for what’s called the High Tech Act, which drives money down into HHS OSC for Health It to improve our country’s aging health IT infrastructure.
There’s two major tracks there: one is to provide grant money to doctors who are willing to upgrade to an electronic health record; the second track is for states and communities to implement what’s called a health information exchange, or an HIE.
So, within the first track . . . HHS is creating a program called the HITRIC program to build regional extension centers, generally one per state, though some states will have [more]. Each of these states will use SalesForce.com, which is the CRM product that Acumen Solutions will be implementing.
We’re going to implement it at a national level for HHS OSC, and we will also implement it down at the regionalized REC level, so that the REC’s can use SalesForce.com as their CRM platform for recruiting doctors to upgrade their systems to electronic health records, and then assist the doctors in accomplishing milestones, such as collecting a product, implementing a product, and accomplishing meaningful use and getting meaningful reimbursement with their grant money.
FCB: Can you give us an example of some other work that you’ve done with other federal agencies?
MY: Sure, I’ll give you a handful.
For example, [the] U.S. Army hired us to implement SalesForce.com to be used as a recruiting system — recruiting platform. They wanted to stand up a sophisticated, CRM-like recruiting platform to track future soldiers and their pursuit to join the Army. So, we used things like algorithmic scoring based on information [such as] — do you have prior family in the military? Height, age, weight, grades — things like that.
We also implemented it at the U.S. Census Bureau for outreach and marketing functions. So, to try and get various partner organizations throughout the entire country to go out and — I use the term, ‘get the vote out’ — but it’s basically to get people to fill out and complete the Census, because it’s hard to reach some of the smaller populations that are less mainstream. They wanted to make sure that everyone is counted.
At the Department of State, we used SalesForce.com as a financial management platform [for the] the Nuclear Disarmament Fund. There’s people in Korea and Iraq that are using iPhones to perform WMD inspections and they record their findings through their iPhones. That ultimately gets loaded into SalesForce as the mechanism to track the financial progress. We also worked with the Obama administration during change.gov.
We’re working with GSA. We’re working with the the [SEC] and the TSA. So, there’s a lot of different agencies where cloud computing solutions from SalesForce.com are being implemented.
FCB: Does Accumen use cloud computing itself?
MY: Absolutely. We have standardized all of our infrastructure and internal systems on various cloud platforms, SalesForce.com being the most common one. We have a time and attendance module that we use. We use our own recruiting systems, our own intranet, our pipeline and opportunity management system, time reporting — all of those applications are on various cloud computing platforms that we use internally.
FCB: Is there anything we might have missed — maybe about this new HHS partnership — or other partnerships?
MY: Specific to HHS ONC, it’s an excellent opportunity for the federal government to roll out a large program. It’s a high-dollar program, a highly visible program, and they’re using cloud computing technology, which is at the heart of our nation’s CTO’s philosophy on how technology investment should be made. So, it ends up being a very low-cost way to stand up an enterprise application and roll it out to a large user base.
It’s a good success story for the federal government in terms of making what I consider to be smart technology investments for programs that need to be scalable, that need to be enterprised, that need to be stood up in a very short period of time to be able to fulfill a high user base.