Agency for Healthcare Administration

Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) had a goal to enhance an existing system that was developed by previously engaged consulting firm. The application focused exclusively on the eligibility of health care job applicants and obtaining criminal history. Innovative Architects (IA) led the eventually replace the consulting firm as the sole resource to maintain and enhance the AHCA Background Check System (AHCA BGS). Development work revolve around both the applicant submission process and the notification process, but would also entail system integration efforts with outside vendors, such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. When completed, the AHCA BGS system is an end-to-end process for processing and monitoring problematic applicants.

Overview

  • County or Region: United States
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Customer Profile:
    AHCA is a Florida State agency that is responsible for the licensure and regulation of health facilities across the state. The AHCA BGS system manages the intake and screening of all long term care employees.
  • Overview:
    The AHCA background check system (BGS) provides an online interface that integrates federal and state resources such as the FBI, state law enforcement agencies and the department of health (DOH) among others. It allows healthcare providers to submit applicant information, collect and consolidate background check data, allows state agencies to make determinations and includes the ability to notify employers when employees make criminal violations.
  • Business Situation:
    Approved legislation mandated changes within the state required a number of enhancements throughout the platform, including integration to outside vendors for the first time in the applications use. In addition, the platform would need to handle multiple agencies.
  • Solution:
    Using our InnovativeBCS Framework, which takes advantage of our extensive experience in the background check industry, Innovative Architects delivered extensive enhancements and SOA based implementations on the Microsoft framework. The new system featured online integration to external vendors via web services published in a standard interface, along with improvements with the State Police.
  • Benefits:
    With the integration inclusion to both outside LiveScan vendors and the State Police, data was received in a timelier and accurate means, increasing user satisfaction and turnaround around times for potential employees. More importantly, meeting legislations deadlines.

Case Study

  • Situation
    Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) had a goal to enhance an existing system that was developed by previously engaged consulting firm. The application focused exclusively on the eligibility of health care job applicants and obtaining criminal history.
  • Project Leadership
    IA was responsible for the full System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) of the project with its many releases to production. Leveraging our InnovativeBCS Framework, requirements gathering was performed by IA, working closely with subject matter experts from AHCA, the system’s feature set was planned using formal documentation, wireframe diagrams and various other inputs. All system functionality was signed off by AHCA’s business unit before the start of development. In the development sprints, IA resources worked closely with project managers and business analysts to resolve questions and obtain clarifications throughout the phase. Production implementations, user acceptance testing and training were conducted by IA with each release.
  • Agile
    Ongoing development sprints, spanning the course of more than fifteen months, were executed by focusing on key functional areas and ongoing defect fixes. Several times, work efforts were dictated by outside pressure as the result of the Florida state legislature. IA and AHCA worked closely to craft the system’s project plan and execute it accordingly that conformed to time constraints outside the control of the project team. Regular milestone releases were sent to the business unit to solicit feedback which was then incorporated back into the system.
  • Virtual Team Strategies
    With IA offices being located in Atlanta, Georgia (and now Washington D.C.), and AHCA located in Tallahassee, Florida, the majority of development was performed offsite. Visits to Tallahassee were made for important junctures in the project as well as all production releases. IA’s efforts to communicate with AHCA’s development staff was highly successful considering the notion that IA was solely responsible for both the internal and external systems. Primary importance was placed on allowing IA’s development staff access to business analysts throughout the later stages of the project. Frequent conference calls and email were used as a means of communication and both worked well to keep all interested parties in unison.
  • Project Transition
    Due to IA being solely responsible for enhancing the AHCA BGS system, numerous code reviews were conducted throughout the development lifecycle. These meetings allowed AHCA to review both C# code base and database modifications, ask questions of the developers and request appropriate changes. Along with specific knowledge transfer sessions, these served as the basis to ensure the AHCA team to support the system in the long term.
  • Project Success
    By the time that IA had transitioned the BGS to AHCA, the initial ambition of the system was realized. A complete end to end system had been installed for multiple agencies that integrated the various sources of information and provided accurate and reliable decision making. In addition, key deadlines were met to ensure that AHCA fell within the state government’s compliance.

    The system’s architecture is itself another accomplishment worth noting. Prior to IA’s involvement, no MVC or web services had been introduced to the BGS. These technologies offer distinct advantages over prior architectures and will serve as a basis for any ongoing development.
  • Software and Services
    • C# 4.0
    • SQL Server 2008
    • Web Forms
    • MVC
    • WCF and Web Services
    • XML and XSLT
    • SSRS
    • SharePoint