One of Georgia’s leading providers of electronic health records and other healthcare IT solutions was launched in 1977, making it one of the oldest companies developing software for the healthcare industry. The company chose to work with a global delivery partner to capitalize on a few key benefits:
- Gaining immediate access to high-quality talent
- The ability to launch a significant development project with minimal impact on margins and capital outlay
- The critical need to align existing onshore development operations with the new offshore team
The company was attracted to the virtual captive structure, which protects intellectual property and ownership rights. That level of control would engender trust between the parties, and establish a promising platform for future growth.
In 2009, the company’s customer base of providers and payers was seeking to quickly modernize applications in light of regulation, quality of care goals and economic incentives.
The company’s core EHR product was lacking critical features necessary to compete, including an electronic prescription module, an integration engine, and a rules engine. Given the saturated healthcare IT marketplace, the company decided it needed the help of an outsourcing provider to update its product in an accelerated timeframe.
The first engagement began with two development projects, in which the offshore virtual captive worked in parallel with the current home office team. To get started, the company created a cross-functional team to gather requirements, create development timelines, and institute processes and methodologies. Deliverables within the first two years included the completion of the e-prescription module, an allergies module, the interface engine, a patient portal and enhancements to a claims module. In the years following, the virtual captive has delivered end-to-end product development, QA services, integration management, and consulting services across various company product lines.
Using the virtual captive model, the company achieved its original objectives along with other development projects. A few of the benefits achieved through the virtual captive provider include:
- Automated test cases to reduce QA cycle time by 70 percent
- Experimentation with new strategies, including the “High Potential Low Cost” initiative, which enables the company to execute idea-to-action quickly and at low cost, resulting in the implementation of a complex QA process in less than 6 months
- Significantly faster time-to-market for new features and module development—an invaluable competitive advantage
- Reliable access to highly skilled resources at the moment of need: The virtual captive provider delivered extreme flexibility in resource management to scale up and down with projects
- Continued operations during the company’s acquisition of another vendor: The virtual captive was able to manage development at its normal pace, eliminating any negative impact on the company’s customer base and overall productivity