Daou launches R.A.P.I.D. initiative for new health care IT implementations

Extron 04 February 2004Daou Systems Inc., the provider of IT consulting and management services to health care organisations, has launched a dual-track initiative designed to help a significant cross- section of health care organisations adopt new technologies regardless of their approach to clinical system adaptation. Whether organisations are working to extend the life and value of legacy systems or are implementing new clinical systems, Daou's R.A.P.I.D. IT Solutions support and optimize both the outcomes and investment returns of either strategy.

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The R.A.P.I.D. initiative consists of a toolkit of IT consulting solutions focused on four areas: mobile health, Web services, systems integration and business process alignment. The solutions are geared toward helping health care organisations - providers, payers and government organisations alike - implement new technologies, extend the life of existing systems, and optimize their clinical system implementations to meet today's changing standard of care.

"Our mission at Daou has always been to help organisations maximize the returns on existing IT assets as well as on clinical system investments through the adoption of new technologies and strategies for enhanced quality of care", stated Daniel J. Malcolm, Daou's president and CEO. "R.A.P.I.D. is a new set of tools to achieve that mission, and to help health care organisations take fast advantage of competitive new technologies like mobile health and Web services."

The four R.A.P.I.D. solutions recently introduced are:

  • R.A.P.I.D. Mobile Health Solution: builds a mobile infrastructure that lets remote mobile devices access legacy applications and data across an organization. Components include mobile infrastructure design and implementation; business process improvement and work flow; extensible data delivery/Web services; education and training.
  • R.A.P.I.D. Web Services Solution: delivers a Web services platform that creates reliable composite applications that can be readily adopted by users. Components include Web services platform and architecture design and implementation; infrastructure services including security, remote access, wireless mobile technology, network; integration services; application services, including application integration; project management; business process improvement and work flow; adoption and use.
  • R.A.P.I.D. Integration Solution: extends legacy systems to support new technology and commercial application solutions. Components include data and systems migration; infrastructure assessment, design, implementation and support; business process improvement and work flow; project management; Web services at the presentation layer.
  • R.A.P.I.D. Business Process Alignment: brings clinical and business processes in sync with new technologies. Components include business process alignment planning in such areas as enrollment, medical management, customer service, revenue cycle, emergency department, operating room processing; process redesign, improvement and work flow implementation; project management; education and training.

"Business process alignment is such an important component in the success of any IT implementation", stated Mr. Malcolm. "That's why we've made it one of our first R.A.P.I.D. solutions, and there will be more. It's a good indicator of the approach Daou takes with any engagement, making sure new technology becomes a working, everyday part of the organisation, rather than a good idea that failed."

According to Mr. Malcolm, the R.A.P.I.D. initiative is, in part, a response to growing concerns of health care CIOs that new technologies are out of reach unless they totally replace their existing systems. "It's a problem CIOs discuss at every one of the health care CIO Forums we regularly host across the country", Mr. Malcolm stated. "CIOs are at the centre of a storm, facing rising costs and declining reimbursement levels on one hand, increased pressure from consumers and clinicians to provide the latest technologies on the other. Add to that the intense interdepartmental competition for capital dollars within health care organisations. With programmes like R.A.P.I.D., CIOs have a way out that is relevant, affordable and built to deliver a quick win. R.A.P.I.D. is also targeted to help those organisations that can make the high-dollar investments in total system replacement to maximize their returns and realize the full value and functionality of what they have bought."

R.A.P.I.D. is the product of Daou's nearly two decades of experience in infrastructure, integration and application work for providers, payers and government health care organisations, coupled with the firm's project management expertise and knowledge of the new technologies that health care organisations are demanding. "With the wealth of experience our company has, we have rolled up our accumulated expertise and made it available to the market in silver bullet packages targeting specific IT pains", stated Mr. Malcolm. "We're excited about the offerings, because we're giving health care CIOs a set of streamlined options they truly need."

Mr. Malcolm pointed to survey data by Gartner showing the health care industry's characteristically low rate of spending on IT. In 2003, health care companies devoted an average of 4,4 percent of revenue to IT spending, compared with 10,6 percent among communications or telecom companies and 6,7 percent among depository institutions or banking firms. "Organisations can choose to replace multiple systems with a $10 million core software platform to solve their IT challenges, and we can help them optimize that implementation to get the full functionality of what they are buying", he explained. "But for many, the significant time, money and human resource investment such a decision entails is not a realistic option. Now they can choose a less costly, more focused approach, selecting a R.A.P.I.D. solution that helps solve a particular IT problem today while providing a strong platform on which to position future system investments."

According to Mr. Malcolm, the R.A.P.I.D. initiative not only signifies an evolution in the way Daou markets its services, but also a new approach to the way IT consulting services are delivered. "With R.A.P.I.D., Daou begins productizing some of its consulting offerings, and that's a new approach for our market space", Mr. Malcolm stated. "We believe it's precisely what the health care industry needs right now. We think of our R.A.P.I.D. solutions as enhanced practices that make it easier for health care CIOs to get what they need from an IT consulting firm."

Mr. Malcolm noted that health care CIOs often face "not knowing what they don't know, meaning they need as much support selecting a solution to a particular problem as they do implementing it. With R.A.P.I.D., the work is already done for them. Rather than having to sort through a list of independent offerings, CIOs can focus on succinct, bundled solutions to particular IT challenges. The solutions work the way a product should work - quickly, affordably, providing immediate results."

Daou Systems Inc. provides expert consulting and management services to health care organisations in the design, deployment and support of IT infrastructure and application systems. Daou offers a range of comprehensive services, from mobile health and Web services strategies to application implementation and support; from government and commercial integration services to best practices in help desk, break/fix and desktop support. Daou has provided services to more than 1600 health care organisations, including private and public hospitals, managed care organisations on both the payer and provider sides of the market, as well as integrated healthcare delivery networks (IDNs) and some of the nation's largest government health care entities.


Leslie Versweyveld

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