Independent Verification & Validation

In a glass and steel office building in Richmond Va., stands one of TeAM’s proudest recent achievements.

As part of its program management of the Military Health System Cyberinfrastructure Services (MCiS), TeAM was honored to help bring online the MHS Development and Testing Center (DTC). The DTC is a single location uniting all application development and testing elements within the sprawling military health care field.

The DTC is a vital step forward as the healthcare field faces skyrocketing costs, combining the efforts of each service to provide streamlined application development. For TeAM, the DTC underscores one of its most prized roles: Independent Verification and Validation services (IV&V).

About TeAM’s Holistic Approach
As a full lifecycle IT consulting firm, TeAM’s expertise carries across all phases, from requirements and acquisition through sunsetting. Yet, TeAM places a special emphasis on IV&V, particularly for its Federal clients.

“In the IV&V role, TeAM is standing up for the needs of our Federal and State customers,” said TeAM CEO Charles Davis. “TeAM independently verifies applications on behalf of our clients, ensuring that their selected integrators meet the requirements and provide a product worthy of use by the Federal or State Government. At TeAM, IV&V isn’t just about the integrator; it’s about our reputation.”

Since 1985, TeAM has proudly provided the full array of IT support to the Federal Government. TeAM supports the Military Health System in every military treatment facility at home and abroad. Since 1988, TeAM has been a trusted IV&V vendor to Federal, State, and commercial clients. With more than a quarter century of expertise, IV&V is more than simply a checklist.

“TeAM’s IV&V approach is holistic,” Davis says. “We always ensure that we have a deep expertise in the field, and then apply that knowledge to understand not simply what the requirements are, but how the application will function now and in the future.”

TeAM’s proven history in the military health care sector gives us a deep shelf of knowledge for verification and validation of IT challenges in the civilian health care field. No health care category places more reliance on dependable and secure IT than the MHS, which cares for 9.7 million beneficiaries in a wide range of circumstances, from servicemen in forward action, to their families at home. TeAM’s experience meeting and exceeding the expectations of the Department of Defense (DoD) serves as a strong foundation for tackling the critical issues of health care at home.

“The Military Health System serves the single most challenging arenas in health care, bar none” Davis said. “Making sure our development and IV&V capabilities are sufficient for the MHS keeps TeAM at the cutting edge of health care IT at all times.”

TeAM’s expertise in the full lifecycle of product management allows customers a comfort level with the company’s recommendations. TeAM’s approval of an application extends beyond a series of check boxes. This often results in increased benefit to the client.

For commercial and Federal clients, TeAM’s expertise has provided a savings in the face of exponentially rising healthcare costs. For example, since 2010, the MHS and its commercial and State partners have pursued a gateway data-sharing mechanism to lower costs and increase access to health care. TeAM’s experts have spearheaded the installation and testing of data gateway using Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) access.

NIPRNet allows the seamless exchange of data between the MHS and commercial health care outlets, while respecting the stringent security protocols of the Defense Information Security Agency (DISA). NIPRNet also meets the requirements of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This eased flow of information has helped stem infrastructure costs as an offset for spiraling health care costs.

Some agencies and commercial clients scramble to adapt to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other industry upgrades such as the ICD-10 conversion. TeAM has already established a clear roadmap and assisted clients such as the IRS and the Air Force Medical Operations Agency (AFMOA), as well as tested solutions on their behalf.

Elsewhere in the MHS, TeAM has recently provided test and evaluation (T&E) support for the certification and accreditation efforts (C&A) of the Defense Health Services Systems (DHSS). TeAM’s testing identified problems in the development stage of the C&A efforts, saving the agency the time and expense of following a flawed path to its conclusion. TeAM also assisted Joint Medical Information Systems (JMIS) coordination staff, overseeing security and ensuring that a vital, cross-service task did not get derailed.

Davis believes that TeAM’s big business expertise in health care and its small-business management approach makes the company an ideal partner for verification and validation of health care IT solutions.

“Having a holistic view of the entire process and experience in all of the roles in the development process is invaluable for IV&V,” Davis said. “You need to know the full picture as well, or even better than, the integrator. TeAM, with our long history in health care, has superior expertise in all areas of health care IT, as well as their evolution. Then, as a small business, we’re able to act nimbly without the weight of a large decision-making infrastructure.”

At TeAM, the core of IV&V work is expertise in the subject matter, coupled with TeAM’s responsive management. Therefore, for arenas beyond health care, TeAM frequently relies on its “many experts, one voice” approach, teaming with industry leaders while providing TeAM’s best-of-breed agile management approach. TeAM’s trusted group of partners includes companies with accomplished IV&V resumes at such high-profile clients as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Developing Success: TeAM’s IV&V efforts played a key role in the launch of the MHS’ Development and Testing Center.

No matter the arena, TeAM’s approach is to find the field’s top performers and couple their expertise with TeAM’s superior management.

For IV&V efforts that require specialization in health care beyond TeAM’s scope, the company will also employ its “many experts, one voice” approach. For example, a current TeAM partner is a leading vendor within the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), and assists on CMS-centric projects. TeAM’s trusted partner spearheaded the Federal Health and Human Services (HHS) CMS National Level Repository (NLR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) program. The program compiles registration and payment information for more than 40,000 health care providers and 2,800 hospitals.

For TeAM’s clients, the company’s IV&V services are invaluable. On complex projects, which entail much of TeAM’s MHS work, superior IV&V performance allows the client to receive a more complete view of the project without distractions of the day-to-day work. Where a program manager may be overly immersed in the details of a project, TeAM’s IV&V scope always allows the client to see the forest without focusing on the trees.

“IV&V is a valuable service precisely because you aren’t laden with any biases or colored by the day-to-day interactions and pitfalls,” Davis said. “At TeAM, our IV&V analysts can see beyond the day-to-day operation and ensure that the entire program or software system is moving forward acceptably. IV&V is an invaluable tool for any project manager, particularly those with complex goals.”

At TeAM, the role of IV&V analysis isn’t complete simply because the product is approved in its existing state. TeAM IV&V is forward looking with an eye on sustainment. TeAM ensures that the application under development (1) will run in the chosen environment with the available equipment; and (2) will have the characteristics required, but will also apply stress test and performance evaluation simulating out-of-the-lab use.

TeAM will also work closely with the client to determine the likely future network infrastructure and application resource requirements. This prevents a negative performance or availability impact on business-critical applications. For example, TeAM routinely conducts network studies of Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), circuit validations, server analyses, and application performance at MTFs. TeAM’s sharp focus on capacity planning and management ensures that clients using TeAM’s IV&V services receive best-in-class performance from their selected integrators – now and in the future.

“TeAM takes its IV&V role very seriously,” Davis said. “When we validate, we put our name on the line next to the integrator. At TeAM, superior client service and our reputation are our two most valued assets.”

At TeAM, we independently verify and validate, and then we succeed together.