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APHSA Conference. To Cloud or Not to Cloud. Speaker’s Bio.

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aphsa conference

APHSA Conference

To Cloud or Not to Cloud

speaker s bio
Speaker’s Bio

Russell Nicoll is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the TN Dept. of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), and serves as the Director of the DIDD Information Systems Division. Russell provides technical leadership, vision, and experience in order to identify and implement technological solutions that support the agency’s goals of maximizing operational efficiency and providing individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities with an opportunity to lead healthy, secure and meaningful lives.

Russell has more than 10 years of experience in the Healthcare IT field, and is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

tn dept of intellectual developmental disabilities didd
TN Dept. of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (DIDD)

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for providing services and supports to Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities.

  • Serves more than 7,500 Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities.
  • Over 2,000 state employees along with 470 contracted community providers with more than 27,000 Support Professionals.
  • Annual budget of approximately $815m, utilizing federal and state funding systems along with various grants.
  • DIDD offers several different types of programs for persons with intellectual disabilities.
    • Home and Community-based Waiver Services
    • Self-Directed Case Management Services
    • ICF/IDD
    • Family Support
  • More than 8,000 individuals currently on an active waiting list seeking services.
didd s business case
DIDD’s Business Case

For many years DIDD has struggled to upgrade its existing computer information systems. These systems are used to track:

  • Recipient Demographic Data,
  • Service Planning and Case Management Information,
  • Service Authorization and Billing Information,
  • Incident and Investigations Data

Most of these systems were developed in an outdated software platform, known as FoxPro, and in many cases were meant to be short-term solutions that became permanent. As these legacy systems continue to age, the older FoxPro applications are no longer being supported by our technology partners; posing a risk to business continuity and increasing operational costs for the Department.

DIDD will replace these legacy systems with a single integrated database solution built on Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM framework.

on premise hosting decision
On Premise Hosting Decision

For DIDD the decision to host the CRM solution on premise came down to two major factors:

  • Security
    • Sensitivity of data
    • Increased risk as a public entity
  • Ownership and Portability of Data
    • Competitive bid process
    • Control over infrastructure and administrative functions

Other factors that impacted this decision:

TN already has a centralized data center capable of hosting the CRM application.

Funding for the project was already available.

previous efforts lessons learned
Previous Efforts & Lessons Learned

2004: Internal Development Effort – Project cancelled in 2008.

2010: Vendor Hosted COTS Solution – Project cancelled in 2011.

Factors that contributed to these failures:

- Lack of Project Management Expertise - Lack of Stakeholder Involvement

- Lack of a Dedicated Project Team - Poor Contract and Vendor Management

How will this project succeed, where other projects have failed?

  • Strategic Partnerships with Other State Agencies
  • Tennessee Business Solutions Methodology
  • Partnerships with Both Internal and External Stakeholders
  • External Partnerships – Microsoft & Mid-America

Consulting Group