Senin, 19 Mei 2014

The whole US has been talking about the debacle during the rollout of the health insurance marketplace. The website has been buggy, the experience has been bad, and the main requirement, that of getting Americans to enroll, has not been met. So, what has gone wrong? Several experts have analyzed the situation from various perspectives, but not many have done it through the perspective of the healthcare software solution. Sure, it has been mainly about how the government failed, but it has more to do with software than anything else.




Since it is more of a software problem, it is better to analyze from that perspective as software. For any IT product, there are certain aspects that can make or break the project. For the official healthcare software solution, the following three points acted as the instigators of the failure.





1)Bad code, bad planning, and lack of foresight In a nutshell, these three reasons took the healthcare.gov site down. Underperforming code prevented the marketplace from performing according to the expectations of Americans. Bad planning, resulting from wrong estimations and lack of vision, led to a fiasco that prevented Americans from enrolling with the system. Lack of foresight at the top level resulted in a system that was so fragile that it could not handle the load of the American population.





2)Implementation of a tech surge to resolve the problems From healthcare software solutions perspective, the implementation of a tech surge, or a slew of developers and additional manpower, to the wobbly website was a bad, bad decision. At this moment, more than 55 contractors and vendors are associated with the functioning of the healthcare.gov website, and recently, one of the vendors caused a sitewide failure that prevented people from using the website.





3)Delayed development lifecycle The healthcare.gov website did not start as planned. For any health care software solution, the initial planning phase is the most important. Delays and compromises on that front led to a delayed lifecycle. According to rules applicable in IT, a late project should never be addressed by adding more manpower, it only delays the project further. The officials did not heed to this, and adding more resources to a delayed project, delayed it further. Although the website was launched on time, it did not have the quality and hassle-free operation it was supposed to have.







The above analysis is important, especially for those authorities that have been charged with fixing this broken piece of technology. Committing the same mistakes as above is the way the fixing efforts are going right now. Putting in more people will not solve this. Period.





For government officials, the best way to fix this is by rethinking and re-planning their whole act. It will take time, but it will deliver a much better healthcare software solution that will stand true to the expectations of the millions of Americans and become a helpful means instead of the hurdle it is currently.


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