Change is a constant companion to organizations in the dynamic healthcare landscape. Technology advances — combined with patients who are demanding more personalized care — is forcing healthcare organizations to rise to meet their challenges by often growing and acquiring other organizations along the way. It takes robust IT support efforts to make change less chaotic, so healthcare organizations can focus on delivering better patient care. Denesh Persaud, a client delivery executive at NTT DATA Services, kept a steady hand at the helm as his client, a prominent Northeastern healthcare provider, entered choppy seas from merger and acquisition (M&A) activities.
Q: Set the scene for us. What happened when your client prepared to go in other directions?
A: Two healthcare provider organizations who were part of a health system and longtime NTT DATA clients decided to go their separate ways.
There was a massive technology transition effort that we undertook, which required partnering with the old and new health organizations to ensure technology systems were migrated off and there was minimal impact to the end-users who managed patient care.
Q: So, during that split-up, how did you and your team work with the clients to ensure that, despite this fragmentation, all the other little pieces of it were going to maintain their high standards, especially regarding the quality of care for their thousands of patients?
A: NTT DATA Services brought our historical knowledge of the healthcare environment and understanding of what each partner was trying to accomplish to the transition effort. We put a plan together to create a roadmap and ensure minimal impact to the end-user environment – an environment we had been successfully supporting for over eight years. Our historical knowledge played a significant factor in the successful transition of the infrastructure.
We established a transition team — hiring a transition manager and a project manager who were able to take all the inputs of what the health organizations would like to accomplish. We analyzed l their feedback and worked with our teams internally to come up and present them with plans which focused on partnering with their organizations.
We were successful as a result of our partnership with these organizations and historical knowledge, which allowed them to make an informed decision on their migration.
Q: When you talk about “historical knowledge,” what do you mean? Best practices from what you've learned about similar situations in the past?
A: Here’s an example: Today, if I am looking to migrate a network to another company. I would want information from the second party’s network, you know, the unique aspects of it. I would want to understand what challenges they are having and any that they may have had in the past. I would blend this information with knowledge about how the NTT DATA Services’ network works, allowing us to migrate a network without impacting our end user who is typically caring for a patient. That's what I mean by historical knowledge.
Q: Whenever you have to deal with significant changes – especially in this case where elements of one company are being fragmented off and landing elsewhere – you have a lot of moving parts. It takes more of an effort to ensure all of these different elements are falling in line. To best serve the client, you must have a spirit of service, volunteering to go that extra mile to ensure client success. Why is that important to you?
A: I think it’s personally important to me because I view information technology as an enabler, and I have lessons learned from my years of supporting technology services. One of the first things that come to mind is significant if we're going to implement a technology or make a change, what is the end-user impact? At all times our focus is minimizing the end-user implications — especially for patient care — because if someone doesn't have access to a system, like, in this case, their EMR (Electronic Medical Records) the caregivers will not be able to administer the right treatment.
Q: What passions and interests – maybe not necessarily in healthcare – do you bring to your job to help you succeed?
A: You know, I was born and raised in Guyana, a third world country, and there wasn’t a lot going on. So, I became an avid reader of history. I've read books on Aristotle and other genius minds of the past, and while (their philosophies) may not be relevant to some people, they are to me because I think the basic principles still hold firm and their application is endless. Being able to make that connection between the old and new is something I am passionate about and has helped me tremendously in my work life.
Q: What does Aristotle teach you about client delivery services?
A: I think it's essential to be transparent with your customer. To be honest as an individual and evaluate all aspects of the situation without jumping to conclusions. I have always been a problem solver, and I love doing it. My family would say that I've always been a curious kid – who liked to investigate. I look at a problem, or an escalation that has comes to me or my team’s attention, as an opportunity to solve it, thus taking away the negativity from the equation.
Q: Describe the best day you’ve ever had at work.
A: I have to think about that one. I mean there are so many good days, you know! My best days at NTT DATA Services are when we use our ability to use technology to serve our clients, and at the same time recognize our people who are delivering at their best to serve their customers.
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