The Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) claims “trusted care everywhere” as its mantra—making sure our Service members have the best healthcare at the best value regardless of their location. Delivering on this promise demands innovative technology. The resulting enterprise architecture (EA) is complex and difficult to understand given its wide reach of stakeholders, collaborating systems, and information exchanges that must occur. These exchanges span everything from physical training to daycare centers, from emergency room admissions to regular checkups. The implications for the AFMS are widespread and complicated. Understanding that enterprise and improving on its implementation is vital to the AFMS mission.
After receiving an EA effectiveness report, AFMS was faced with multiple challenges: (1) lack of a clearly defined governance structure with appropriate touch points; (2) EA artifacts reflected an inconsistent future state, which undermined executable guidance; (3) overlapping processes made it difficult to know who was responsible for what; (4) no formal touch points meant a lack of integration with IT processes like planning, procurement, and management; and (5) the EA objectives were not well communicated to stakeholders.
Engility is evolving and maintaining the AFMS EA, which will eventually align with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare and medical systems in a common architecture. Engility is accomplishing these tasks through sound project management practices, business process reengineering, and evolutionary EA. The EA will eliminate duplication of services and ensure consistency of information—from billing to medical records—across all of the Services and agencies.
Engility began by implementing an approach to project management that closely mirrors the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), but we modified it based on our experience with large, comprehensive Government programs. In addition to project management, Engility is helping the AFMS to understand the current processes by engaging clients who use enterprise artifacts (all of the files, tools, and processes that people use in the course of their work). Also included in the process mapping exercise are groups that collaborate with the EA. We have found that the AFMS EA has stakeholders well outside of the Service’s organization. Applying our expertise in EA and Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Engility modeled the current state and brought all enterprise artifacts together in one location.
Engility conducted more than 27 interviews with stakeholders spanning all aspects of the AMFS, including portfolio management and information assurance. We built a network of information sharing unheard of in the organization. Collaboration among the stakeholders was initiated and promoted through information sharing at weekly staff meetings.
The result of our data-gathering effort is the proposed Phase 1 “To-Be” process, which in its preliminary presentation has gained wide acceptance and approval. The net result is a collaborative work effort engaging the AFMS EA earlier in the process, with greater reliability on the enterprise architects to explain, diagnose, and understand the workings of the AFMS within the U.S. Air Force and DoD health system. Our client has seen an immediate improvement in productivity as a result of Engility’s EA support. In addition, other Divisions external to the AFMS have increasingly become aware of the enhanced capabilities of the AFMS EA Directorate. Furthermore, the inclusion of EA in development discussions demonstrates Engility’s ability to see beyond the present and reach for the future with a clear roadmap. Our efforts are resulting in better engagement of the EA Directorate in the activities of the AFMS and better healthcare delivery to our men and women in uniform.