Transforming Portal and Digital Operations with In-Sourcing
A large, national healthcare IT client was dissatisfied with the performance and stability of their member, employer, and sales portal offerings, and so were their customers. SDLC Partners created an in-sourced solution, providing a multi-phased effort to address leadership, resource turnover, software stability, and quality. Our collaboration brought needed leadership, governance, operational resources, and improved customer satisfaction, as well as improved budgeting and portal cost savings. Our work resulted in the health plan experiencing a stellar 2020 open enrollment season, which included recommendations that saved $1.8M in avoidable costs.
Core Issues Included Portal Performance, Governance, Financial Management & Consistent SDLC
The client outlined challenges like customer satisfaction with portal functionality and performance alongside their desire to improve governance, workflow and consistency across their software development life cycle. As the main interaction point between members and their health plan, the portals faced major risks from accessibility and security vulnerabilities.
SDLC Partners conducted an in-depth assessment to gain a holistic view across the portal department, including the entire software development life cycle; front- and back-office support. This assessment revealed extensive time and resources were being invested into resolving problems and ad-hoc development requests rather than being focused on a strategic plan and experiential goals. A lack of visibility into resources and commitments diluted efforts and built unrealistic expectations, causing the portal project to spend an entire year’s budget within three months.
Transforming Portal Operations, Leadership & Management
After conducting a holistic assessment of portal operations, we were engaged to manage day-to-day portal operations. Our assessment included 87 recommendations for improving quality, stability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, outlining four areas for concerted focus.
Portal Leadership & Strategy
During launch, we began with filling leadership roles and establishing a front office. Key items were to provide stability around resource turnover and establish a strategy around outstanding issues like architecture, performance improvements, and accessibility compliance.
We set up a joint steering committee with customers to de-escalate critical items and provide a timely resolution on outstanding issues. Additionally, we reorganized portal development operations into a “Run, Build, and Operate” approach with clear, measurable, accountable goals and objectives.
Portal Operations & Process Improvement
Establishing a front-office provided portal management, overseeing planning, activity flow, and priorities. The portals team streamlined the intake process for new project work, enhancements, and defects. We established a Root Cause Analysis process and better cross-team collaboration along with establishing a scrum team to assess relevant risk issues across all portals.
Portal Security & Accessibility
In collaboration with our sister cybersecurity company, CyLumena, we established accessibility and data security priorities to proactivity avoid vulnerabilities in software code, as well as provided custom security training across the portal team.
Financial & Performance Management
We established a new, strategic approach to performance and financial measurement and management. Budgeting and managing spend provided transparency into spend, including planned versus actual across all projects, allocated capital investments, and run versus operate. We created KPIs to manage spend, as well as a dashboard, which helped leadership proactively define capacity, availability, and resource demand. Our work ensured that the budget aligned with portal goals, including defining and managing quality and performance metrics alongside financial and resource KPIs.
Improved Portal Satisfaction, Performance, and Measurable Outcomes
Our healthcare IT client achieved amazing results from the in-sourced solutions SDLC Partners provided and continues to provide today. Portal-as-a-Service has been a successful venture as the client can scale operations without bringing more new hires into their budget, and they have the backing of our expertise across numerous areas, including software governance, operations and process improvement, agile management, human centered design, and others.
The health plan experienced a stellar 2020 open enrollment and anticipates greater improvements in AEP 2021. Not only were states pleased with new performance and quality improvements, but members were greatly satisfied with changes in features and experience. Other achievements included improvements across operations, SDLC, financial management, and strategic leadership:
Because of our assessment and recommendations, the client paused a high-risk project and avoided $1.8M in additional spend along with other positive outcomes:
- Resolved 40 accessibility and security vulnerabilities
- Closed 100% of critical vulnerabilities raised by the security team
- Remediated 1,553 accessibility issues
- Increased compliance from 76% to 82.6%
- 54% reduction in defect injections rates
- Reduced turnaround time for software tickets to 2.5 days
“Portal-as-a-Service” Shows In-Sourcing is Effective Approach to Performance Improvement
This client had a mounting list of concerns that were confirmed through assessment. By deploying an in-sourced solution, SDLC Partners collaborated as a deeply-rooted part of the client’s team and operations, helping them achieve their goals for open enrollment. If your digital and portal operations have chronic or ongoing challenges, let’s discuss your goals and the various ways we can achieve improved performance and customer experience.