By Abigail Smith, FedHealthIT.com

Our team recently had an opportunity to connect with Founder and President of Apprio Inc., Darryl Britt, to discuss some of the secrets to success for this 18+ year old firm focused on program management and technology solutions; largely in the fields of Operational Medicine and Emergency Management for the health, defense, and homeland security sectors.

FedHealthIT: What some are key areas of focus for Apprio?

Darryl Britt: The genesis of our company is based on delivering health care delivery systems and solutions “that are used in an austere environment. It’s similar to what the [Department of Defense] does with their theatre medical records and readiness applications”, but Apprio builds these solutions for civilian customers across HHS and DHS in support of issues such as response efforts to natural disasters and in rural areas.

FedHealthIT: What strategic opportunities exist within Federal Operational Medicine and Emergency Management?

Darryl Britt: A continued and growing area of interest for Apprio customers is in the area of Cyber Security, as there is a “need to protect access to patient data in the field. This covers data used by emergency responders who are providing care in the middle of nowhere on a wireless device, as well as protecting the data’s transfer to the ultimate provider.”  Data in the field is at-risk and, unlike a traditional hard wired facility “the data that we’re moving along the continuum is sent across wireless and cellular networks where the medical records and data is more vulnerable.” In addition to supporting technology considerations, a primary service Apprio provides is to support customers, such as FEMA, with “program management efforts around the subjects of readiness, lessons learned, and training.”

Another large opportunity and area of interest for Apprio’s customers is in the area of ‘Big Data’. “With the huge volumes of data we are dealing with, the real value we can bring to our customer relates to processing of the data. It’s all about the application of that knowledge gained from the big data to solutions in a federal space.”

FedHealthIT: What investments are necessary to keep ahead of trends?

Darryl Britt: Whether it is pursuing the right certifications or making a key hire “we have always believed that investing is important.” As it relates to cyber security, “when teams are in the middle of a disaster environment, your infrastructure is most prone to data loss. We recognized this early and recruited a chief information security officer (CISO) to ensure we have that level of focus.”

Start investing early, especially in your infrastructure.
A big topic remains; “ISO 20000 and the whole ISO 27000 series of information security management systems standards”. Earlier this year Apprio completed these certifications and “this is important, because if you are looking ahead, the Department of Defense regulation 801-171 is going to mandate that most of the contractors doing work at DoD certify that they are protecting any information associated with that contract on the contractors own internal information systems. That is in addition to the industry standard ISO certifications.“ DoD contractors will be required to have this in place by December 2017 and “I expect this requirement to infiltrate civilian agencies within the year after that, if not before. We have already received contracts with that clause in it.”

FedHealthIT: What advice would you give to those companies just starting out?

Darryl Britt: “Start investing early, especially in your infrastructure. That includes accounting systems and certifications that are related to your area of expertise. The government needs to see that you are committed and, early on, this is one part of how they evaluate you. “

Focus. A lot of companies rush into the market, but it is important to take the time to research the potential markets before jumping in. Developing “a specialization and a differentiable technical ability will put yourself in the best position for success.” Apprio decided early on that our “emphasis was going to be at the intersection of health care and emergency management. By knowing who we are and refusing to budge on that, it allowed us to develop a differentiable set of capabilities and expertise. As a result, we have been fortunate to have been the prime on 95% of our work, if not more.”

It is good to have skills in areas such as cyber, cloud and big data, but “being able to apply this functional expertise to one domain; be it education, health care, emergency response, whatever, brings the highest likelihood of success.”

 

For more information, contact Darryl at [email protected] or see his LinkedIn profile.

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