Quality Software Services Inc.: Next-level Thinking to Keep Healthy IT Systems

Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI) was founded in 1997, and in its first decade-and-a-half the company has grown to encompass almost 300 employees across seven offices. An established CMMI Maturity Level 3 organization, QSSI has a proven track record delivering a broad range of software solutions to both the public and private sector worldwide. More recently, the company has become a leader in the engineering and integration of systems targeted to serving agencies serving both civilians and government.
Bikram Bakshi, president and CEO of QSSI, explains, “We have historically been very focused on developing privacy and security IT solutions, which has been a very successful niche for us, but in the last four to five years we have developed very strong core competencies in health IT. This is an area we see going through a key inflection point at the moment, especially as it relates to the government. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the American Reconstruction and Recovery Act (ARRA) there has been a substantial amount of funding made available as an incentive to bring health IT solutions to the 21st century, and in the process, create cost savings and efficiencies that we agree are much needed in this industry.”
Though the company has had a hand in developing solutions for the public sector for many years, the first few years were focused on catering to commercial clients.
Bakshi explains, “We were founded by our current chairman, Tony Singh, primarily as a staff augmentation company, predominantly focused on the commercial market. Around 2000, Tony decided he wanted to essentially balance the portfolio and get more involved in government contracts. At that time we were doing more than 90 percent of commercial work and just a bit of government work, whereas now, the pendulum has swung completely in the opposite direction, doing 90 percent government work and some commercial work.”
QSSI’s continued success has been partially responsible thanks to a deeply ingrained set of guiding principles that include ethics, teamwork and innovation, which combine to garner long-term relationships based on mutual trust, respect, perseverance and continuous communication with customers. In the past few years many companies have been downsizing, but the biggest challenge QSSI has faced had been keeping up with an explosive growth rate.
“In an 18- to 24-month period, we went from two offices to seven offices,” remarks Bakshi. “Our biggest challenges have been positive challenges for the most part. In the five years since I have been at QSSI, we have consistently grown 30 percent or more per year, with a few years where we grew by 50 percent. We have experienced almost a torrid pace of growth and have ramped up our intellectual and physical infrastructure to keep up.”
Building an Open System for Closed Records
QSSI has experience building technology agnostic software solutions for clients using both open-sourced and COTS solutions and hopes to swing the pendulum back a bit to find a more stable balance between private and public sector clients. “One of our biggest focuses for the next two to three years will be to reach a better revenue mix, so we have taken the expertise we have accumulated and are packaging and creating repeatable solutions for the private health sector,” says Bakshi.
QSSI works to custom-fit a solution to the existing technology within a work environment, and is focused on the technology challenges faced by clients. Partnering with clients, QSSI performs comprehensive, enterprise-wide system assessments and builds and deploys scalable and secure enterprise IT solutions. The company’s expert trained and certified professionals implement security and privacy best practices that can reduce threats to all critical business assets. The company’s identity management systems have ensured full compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) standards, and have transitioned into initiatives to aid in the protection of Personal Health Information (PHI) for both government and commercial clients.
“We have developed a line of solutions called HealthIT+ that leverages a lot of our experience working with the government developing health IT solutions with significant privacy and security underpinnings. HealthIT+ is specifically packaged for private sector clients, and targeted very specifically at mid-market commercial healthcare providers,” Bakshi continues. “Our market segment consists primarily of doctors, private practices and small hospital chains, which our market research showed were being underserved in this industry, and who look for these solutions at a specific price point.” More information on this product is available at healthitplus.com.
Since 1996, the government has increasingly become more focused and active in incentivizing healthcare providers to digitize medical records, passing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As a result, solutions are needed to keep up with the unique privacy and confidentiality needs to ensure those records stay in the right hands. QSSI is aware of this need, and intends to provide forward-thinking systems that do more than just satisfy requirements.
“We have seen an increasing amount of news in recent years regarding identity theft and fraudulently used information, which, though critical, is still a manageable risk,” explains Bakshi. “In comparison, if a person’s medical records leak, it can never be un-leaked and it will remain forever in the public domain. Once it’s out, it’s out forever.
“Whereas with your social security number and your credit, you can always cancel credit cards and place locks and notifications on the use of your identity, it’s very different with medical records,” continues Bakshi. “So on the one hand we are being pushed to go electronic with this information, but there are lot of concerns that go along with that, which is why we have developed a line of products to provide adequate protection to clients and help them achieve what we refer to as a ‘HIPAA Compliant Posture.’”
Everything Needed to Support a Healthy System
QSSI’s approach in its products is scalable, reliable, flexible and secure. The company can assist in designing and implementing programs, training users, providing support staff, and providing all other offerings entailed throughout the product’s entire lifecycle. QSSI infrastructure uses technologies and standards that can be scaled to support large user environments in the millions, which has made it perfectly suited to the healthcare sector.
“We are actually at the forefront of a lot of the government regulations regarding health IT policies,” says Bakshi. “Under the HITECH [Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health] Act, part of the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act, federal funds have been set aside to pay doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic record systems, and they can receive anywhere from $40,000 to $65,000 for their efforts so that the government can enforce and monitor these systems. In order to do that, the government has to set up a system, which we are a part of.
“One of our key initiatives right now and for the next few years will be related to the electronic transfer and exchange of clinical data,” continues Bakshi. “These systems will eventually not be able to act as passive storage, but rather, the records will be sent form one doctor to a lab to another doctor and then to a hospital across the country. We have to find a way to have these files securely migrate across systems over what is becoming known as the National Health Information Network (NHIN). It’s very big news and we are very excited to be one of the key contractors working to make this type of communication possible.” 
With a proactive attitude toward developing flexible solutions integrated at all levels, Quality Software Services Inc. is sure to continue providing innovative software solutions to satisfy sensitive agencies and an evolving marketplace.