Volunteers at a FIRST Competition
A Booz Allen Company Blog
“In all walks of life, our most trusted colleagues and friends have this in common: We can count on them. No matter what the situation or challenge, they will be there for us. Booz Allen Hamilton is trusted in that way. You can count on us.”
- Dr. Ralph W. Shrader
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
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Earlier this month, I gave a lecture about big data as a part of the Healthy Health Policy Lunch & Lecture Series sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, and the Center for Rehabilitation Research Using Large Datasets at the University of Texas. My discussion focused on the connection between millions to billions of records, countless sources of information and an ever-growing need to perform sophisticated analytics encompass what big data is all about.
Key elements of big data include:
- Volume: Massive amounts of data that strain the capacity and capability of traditional data storage, management and retrieval systems such as data warehouses
- Variety: Big-data approaches enable the efficient linking and analyses of disparately formatted data (numbers, text, images, etc.) to answer particular operational, business or research questions
- Velocity: Big-data infrastructure makes it possible to manage data more flexibly and quickly than has been the case
For example, the amount of data available is exploding at an exponential rate. At the current rate of growth of digital information, it is estimated that by 2020, health care data worldwide will amount to 25,000 petabytes — 50 times what it is now.Read more and comment
Last month, in recognition of Military Family Appreciation Month and Warrior Care Month, members of my team and their families and friends and I assembled care packages at the USO Center at Fort Belvoir for our deployed servicemen and women serving around the world. For hundreds of years, military units have built esprit de corps by working and playing together as a unit in service to our country. In much the same way, volunteering together gave our Booz Allen team the chance to build spirit and share a great sense of purpose.
Every day, my Booz Allen team’s work is focused improving defense capabilities and the health and well-being of service members, their families and caregivers. It was great to spend a couple hours of our free time in support of these same men and women by volunteering with the USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, a firm nonprofit partner.
Standing in the USO Center on Fort Belvoir early on a Saturday morning brought back a personal experience from a few years ago when I was in Afghanistan. A helicopter landed nearby and I noticed a small group of soldiers and airmen beginning to congregate. I made my way over and saw Robin Williams telling jokes and sharing stories with us - making all of us laugh and feel a little bit closer to home. It’s hard to express how much it meant to us for the USO to arrange this event in a war zone. It truly lifted our spirits.Read more and comment
The Military Health System (MHS) is engaged in supporting organizational and care transformation to improve patient safety, quality, access, and health outcomes for patients and beneficiaries. Booz Allen has partnered with the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program (PSP) – now housed within the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Clinical Support Division (CSD) – since 2005 to measure, analyze, and improve patient safety and implement effective solutions. We are also supporting the Air Force in the implementation of its current and future planned patient safety efforts.
We also supported the 90-day review of safety, quality, and access ordered by the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, over the summer and are now supporting the more than 80 action steps that the review identified in September 2014. Specifically, Booz Allen will help address follow-on activities to move the MHS to a High Reliability Organization, as well as addressing outliers follow-up, development of a campaign plan, establishment of a performance management system, and development of transparency initiatives.
To date, Booz Allen results for the PSP have included:
- 100,000 patient safety professionals trained in MHS-wide rollout of TeamSTEPPS® – a teamwork system designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care
- 21 percent reduction in patient harm rates across nine preventable areas of harm
- 13 percent drop in readmissions at 55 military treatment facilities
- 250+ Patient Safety Managers trained in improvement essentials
Since the beginning of our broad engagement with the MHS our clients have relied on Booz Allen’s strategic guidance and operational support to improve and innovate in patient safety and quality. Day-in-and-day-out, Booz Allen provides expertise in the following areas:
- Strategic planning
- Organizational design
- Performance and process improvement
- Change management
- Strategic communications and stakeholder engagement
- Evaluation and data analysis
- Technical assistance
- Oversight, implementation and monitoring of large-scale initiatives
Being at a FIRST competition is as thrilling as any massive sporting event, or even a rock concert. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking, and the energy is palpable. There are kids everywhere excitedly following the competition while an emcee is tracking the progress of the matches and pumping up the crowd. Watching one of these competitions for the first time was an “ah ha” moment for me. This is cool.
Earlier this year I had the privilege to again participate as a judge in a FIRST Robotics Competition held in the University of Maryland’s XFINITY Center. There were 54 teams competing and the entire arena was filled! These young competitors exude a raw enthusiasm for their sport that grabs you in such a way that you can’t help but be excited, too.
I watched with amazement at how advanced the kids were in their knowledge of technology and programming principles. At these competitions, they have to problem solve on the spot if something happens to their robots—I saw kids programming in JAVA and using 3D printers to create things to attach to their robots. It’s truly incredible.Read more and comment