The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 13, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Dec. 8.
Next is Government TEAM Program/Project of the Year finalist the COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Project Team within the Defense Healthcare Management Systems’ Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions program management office. On behalf of the team, below are key team achievements, primary focus areas going forward, mentoring the next generation of government leaders and more.
What key achievements did the team have in 2020/2021?
The EIDS COVID-19 Vaccination Response Project Team data team brought together 19 disparate data sources and automated processes for data sharing, achieving a feat that had never been accomplished before in the Defense Department.
This integration of data created a single source of truth to capture for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to present to leaders across DOD, including the Joint Chiefs, the secretary of defense and unit-level authorities.
What is the team most proud of having been a part of in its current organization?
It’s rare to find ourselves in a moment of national and global importance. It’s one thing to think we’re able to do something, but another to have the lived experience of doing it. It makes us all extremely proud to be right where we are at this moment in history, making a difference by enabling the answers to critical questions around troop readiness, force health and national health.
What are the team’s primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are the way forward to keep our nation, our military and military health care leading the world. Solutions built on AI/ML enable people to make the best decisions quickly.
AI/ML recognizes patterns in disparate datasets to serve up the most important knowledge at the right time. At the edge of the surgeon’s blade, an AI solution can some day let her know how much pressure she needs to use to make the most effective incision, one that minimizes scarring, promotes fastest healing and affords the best access to the surgical site.
Such solutions require fast and secure access to diverse and dispersed data sources, some of which are collecting inputs in real time. The information within those data sources has to be extracted, compiled, transformed, loaded and presented, all within milliseconds. For this reason, EIDS is at the forefront of developing AI/ML solutions within military health care.
How does the team help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?
In its relatively short history, EIDS has seen many of our civilian and military personnel get promoted, win awards and earn recognition in the HIT industry and beyond. EIDS leadership cultivates a growth mindset by entrusting every team member at every level with important tasks and initiatives with the expectation that their efforts yield immediate results. Part of this is by necessity.
Like all parts of our government, EIDS is challenged to do as much as possible with limited resources. However, EIDS has excelled within this space by adopting a Minimum Viable Product approach and leveraging assets experienced in agile software development.
EIDS leadership also champions the training and education of junior personnel and staff at all levels. Several within the last year have achieved PMP and other professional certifications, which are celebrated and recognized during weekly all hands meetings.
What’s one key thing the team has learned from a failure?
As a young organization, EIDS has enjoyed a steep learning curve. Military operations require fast adaptation to changing landscapes and our biggest challenge remains that we too often have to build ladders as we climb. That is why the MVP concept has been so instrumental to our success and our biggest lesson has been maintaining our ability to adapt while delivering solutions that meet our nation’s demands.