Innovation Spotlight: The EIDS Cyber Team

The Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Enterprise Intelligence Data Solutions (EIDS) Program Management Office (PMO) MHS Information Platform’s (MIP) enclave mission objective is to seamlessly deliver the right information to the right person at the right time to Military Health System (MHS) stakeholders and partners in a safe, effective, efficient, timely, and cost-effective manner using Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

MIP facilitates enterprise health data sharing through the integration of health data and interoperability standards within a robust MHS enterprise health information network, thereby improving beneficiary medical outcomes, reducing healthcare inefficiencies, and supporting care coordination across the continuum of the healthcare environment.

A winner of the 2021 FedHealthIT Innovation Awards, the EIDS Cyber Team, led by Sentar’s James (Jamie) McAlister, began ATO efforts in May 2020.

“We obtained four contingent authorities to operate (ATOs) within 12 weeks, which is unheard of,” said James McAlister.

Supporting the Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions PMO, the Cyber team brings state-of-the-art technology into cyber-supported systems. The Cyber team assessed systems where new technology may pose risk to native systems and the Agency. One system aggregates legacy health data into a single longitudinal health record for each patient known as Legacy Data Consolidation Solution. A second is Artificial Intelligence Decompensation Expert Server, using AI assists providers at MHS intensive care units determine likelihood of a patient experiencing Sepsis. A third involves service members’ contact tracing utilizing IoT devices and ingesting data into the systems’ existing data science toolset.

During 2020, the lean Cyber Team of ten Sentar Cyber SMEs, made several notable accomplishments; the team migrated four major systems into Amazon Web Services (AWS) within a groundbreaking 16 weeks, setting a record for the fastest AWS migration in the DoD. This effort was recognized through the 2020 Technical Project Technical Team of the year award given by the Charleston Engineers Joint Council and PMI’s Charleston Chapter.

Additionally, EIDS helped standup the first-ever DoD (and third federal) Amazon Electronic Medical Record Cluster. Most importantly, they established a benchmark, repeatable approach to planning and facilitating critical continuous monitoring activities (e.g., RMF package updates, ACAS scans, code analysis process, vulnerability findings and POA&M submissions, IAVM Alert/Bullet compliance and reporting), utilized by more than 50 Enterprise systems engineers, and touted by DHA leadership as an example by which others should follow.

In discussing what led to the program’s success, James McAlister tied it to Sentar’s invaluable relationship with the government partner, the Defense Health Agency (DHA). “We work extremely well together,” McAlister said.

Government team members include ISSM Shawn Brody and Deputy ISSMs Lori Wilson, Mike Popovich, and Lawrence Buck. Sentar’s team members include Kevin Almstedt, Rene Aubuchon, Ken Estes, David Hanson, Thomas Hundley, Chris Jones, Erik Larson, James McAlister, Sara Roybal, and Andrew Steele.

EIDS is a leading innovator within DHA because of impactful leadership and transformational technology practices. State-of-the-art business intelligence and data innovation technology ensures everyone is informed and capable of making critical decisions. This includes rapid responses to emerging threats such as COVID-19 and rapidly aging infrastructure, resulting in a 16-week rapid migration to the cloud delivering four ATO’s in 12 weeks. EIDS leadership is not risk adverse, but risk aware, which allows team members to bring the best technology and methodologies to the table, effectively supporting the warfighter and DHA’s 9.6 million beneficiaries.

Do you have additional questions on Sentar’s work with the DHA? Would you like to know more about Sentar’s award-winning solutions? We encourage you to reach out to Joseph Sabin, VP of Health Information Technology, by emailing joseph.sabin@sentar.com.

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