With FY18 still in the rearview mirror and FY19’s strategies and opportunities yet to be set, we thought this might be a good time to share some of the advice and insights we have been privy to throughout the year. Shared by industry experts, gathered through interviews, these bits of advice and tips are arranged below by category or agency to help you focus in on your areas of interest. If you have time, we would encourage you to go and read, or go back and re-read, some of these as you plan your strategies and hone in on your targets for FY19.


Andrea Norris, NIH on Partnership Opportunities and the Future
“As we look at potential partnerships and information sharing, there are a number of challenges related to policy, business practice, and approaches that need to be considered, but NIH is committed to learning and adapting as we move forward.”

Jim Traficant, Accenture Federal Services – Supporting VA and DoD Leading the Positive Disruption Healthcare Needs
“There are non-traditional players and new entrants coming into the Healthcare industry from consumer markets who will disrupt how care is delivered. Today’s mega-mergers and collaborations are bringing at-scale business strengths and disruptive consumer engagement models certain to shift traditional models and economics of care. The commercial entrants from adjacent industries will force the traditional players to react and rethink their market strategies. All of this will ultimately touch Federal Health. It will be up to all of us to take advantage and shape how this ecosystem will benefit Federal Health.”

Phil Monkress, All Points Logistics, on Preparations and Relationships
“You have to look beyond what is public to ensure someone you’re going to partner with fits your needs and requirements and is aligned with your goals. There is enough information in this industry that you won’t have to ask too many people to get opinions and advice. Ask for it and listen to it before you agree to partner.”

Ana Hirsbrunner, President, Synectics on Transitioning from Small to Large: Perspective from one CIO-SP3 SB Prime
“As a small large business, we find ourselves in a unique position of being able to partner with smaller small businesses. They have the vehicles we need and we have the experience and capabilities to help them gain experience, or to bring their new ideas and innovations to light. If we think of positive disruption, of things that are really going to make an impact, bring a change to the way things are done, it will often be these smaller businesses, these emerging companies built on new ideas, that will be the catalyst.”

Desirea Votaw – CMS Primes and Subs – Do your Homework on your Potential Partners
“Hopefully the days of side eying each other or being afraid of slipping up and giving the competition valuable information will soon be gone. I remember a time in the not too distant past when contractors were afraid to tell each other who their Primes or CORs were. Seems like such a needless investment in fear in hindsight. When we cooperate and develop solutions together, our value is multiplied for our customers, and ourselves and each other as taxpayers. These contracts are our money, and don’t we all want the best value for our dollar?”

The Future

Katherine Helmick, Acting National Director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) – The Way Forward with Traumatic Brain Injury with DoD and DVBIC
“This is a good time in terms of congressional interest, DoD’s commitment and the opportunity for collaboration. There is an opportunity to collect and make sense of a whole lot of data for the betterment of the service and general population.”

Nick Padula, Philips – The Emerging Case for and Opportunity Behind Population Health
“There needs to be a culture shift in Healthcare and it starts with conversations with Healthcare leaders to get them to agree that practice based on evidence is key. We’ve seen our lives change dramatically with technology, with access to the Internet and information. There is similar opportunity available to Healthcare. We have the technology to leverage best practice, but we need to embrace it.”

Mike Farahbakhshian – App-idemic: Four Ways That Bad App Design Break Us
“In the next decades, we will deal with the downstream effects of bad app design. At the same time, the apps we develop to manage Healthcare need to avoid the same traps that are causing the problem.”

Dr. Ron Moody, Accenture Federal Services – Data Interoperability: Connecting the Dots of Big Data to support Veteran care
“Achieving meaningful interoperability compels a level of transformation that goes beyond technology and standards. It requires process, policy and cultural changes that focus on empowering the patient and improving outcomes.”

Desirea Votaw – CMS – My Friend JoE gets a Makeover
“So, what’s the bottom line? The million-dollar question. Actually, in this case, it’s the billion-dollar question, as in $793,741,700,000 requested”

Lessons Learned

Dr. Paul Tibbits on FMBT’s development at VA
“There are perverse economic incentives in Healthcare that are creating barriers to interoperability, and to the right focus on patient well-being. The health information model is still struggling, and until these barriers are overcome, we may not see the change we hope for.”

Four Minutes with Former CMS Deputy CIO Henry Chao
“In any large, complex project in the Government some part of the project will stumble and have adverse effects. Your job as a leader is to always anticipate and to quickly assess and determine options, accept that not all options are necessarily going to be good options, and continue to execute in order to make forward progress.”

Mike Farahbakhshian – 2018: A Health IT Odyssey
Yet there’s a new threat now. In a world of connected network, storage and medical devices, we now are dealing with vulnerabilities that cannot easily be “patched and pushed”: hardware instruction sets and firmware-encoded accounts.

Chuck Campbell,IT Partner Consulting LLC – Former MHS CIO/VHA Deputy CIO shares 5 EHR Implementation Lessons Learned
“But acquiring a new EHR system and successfully implementing it, require very different mindsets. Two things we all know will happen: it will cost more than planned, and it will take longer than expected to implement. Setting unrealistic timelines for full or even initial operating capability will unnecessarily result in the appearance of delays.”

Elizabeth Dole – Examining the Military Caregiver Journey
“Today’s assistance and resources have been created without the benefit of truly understanding the caregiver journey. This new approach represents an opportunity for meaningful change in how we support caregivers.”

Katie Bergmann – Leading for Success in Federal Health IT Modernization
“The organization is often spending considerable sums of money and countless staff hours implementing new technology that inevitably involves people performing their jobs and interacting with customers in a new and different manner.”

Brian Hebbel – Tips on Engagement from a Former CMS Acquisition Official
“Contractors need a two-pronged marketing strategy mapped out prior to meeting with the Federal official. First: What can you do to get access to a Federal official? Second: What is your real goal for the meeting? What do you really hope to accomplish at the meeting?”

Andrea Norris – NIH CIO on the STRIDES Cloud initiative and the NIH Google Partnership
“By launching STRIDES, we clearly show our strong commitment to putting the most advanced cloud computing tools in the hands of scientists. Beyond our partnership with Google Cloud, we will seek to add more industry partners to assure that NIH continues to be well poised to support the future of biomedical research.”

Advice for Government and industry partners with Lieutenant General James B. Peake
“The danger in harvesting innovation is that it can bring in a thousand points of light that are not constant to the mission. If industry remains focused on the mission and what the agency is really trying to achieve, they can better help shape and direct all of those bright and shining new opportunities and really harness what is there.”

Know someone who always has advice to share; someone with a crystal ball looking into FY19 who is ready to talk? Message us at [email protected]

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