In an era where repackaging and repositioning to expand distribution channels and increase market share are the order of the day, KIPHS, Inc. has maintained a unique and viable choice of depth over breadth. KIPHS develops software for the sole purpose of providing information systems solutions exclusively for public health.
KIPHS is not software that was originally targeted at other markets, then revised to fit public health–KIPHS is a public health software, and has been since its inception.
The determined focus of KIPHS information system software development extends a step further in functionality by providing solutions at the community level–an area that is deemed most critical to building a solid national public health information infrastructure. This grassroots concept reflects the idea that we consider ourselves in a long-term partnership with our clients rather than a vendor/customer relationship.
While some software developers may shrink from the challenge of providing information system software solutions for complex community-level programs, KIPHS sees it as a unique opportunity to excel. Why? Because of the extensive experience combined in the KIPHS team. We have developed specific and systematic strategies for dealing with the unique needs of public health at the community level.
A firm foundation of support and participation with all three levels of public health (community, state, CDC) confirm that KIPHS is well-entrenched to help make public health information systems seamless and unsurpassed in quality.
Developed for Public Health…
You may have heard it said, “Do one thing, and do it exceedingly well.” While others may attempt to “revise” information system software to fit the needs of public health, KIPHS is built from the ground up specifically for use in the public health sector.
KIPHS software architecture includes a Public Health Program section (or level) since public health clinics are associated with their respective programs: i.e. immunization clinics are supported by immunization programs. KIPHS software is also designed so that every client record is associated with a household and guarantor record since the guarantor may be different than the head of the family. Sliding fee schedules are also program-specific in the KIPHS system, as are numerous other business rules unique to public health that must be integrated into the data structure. Another feature includes program eligibility determination and enrollment data elements and the ability to record program-specific data for a client enrolled in multiple programs.
KIPHS public health software also provides users with an embedded immunization subsystem that is integrated with, rather than simply “attached” to the client record. That, along with the ability to support many other functions specific to public health practice ensure the most complete, detailed and intelligent solutions available for even the most complex information system.
At KIPHS Inc., public health is what we do! It’s our core competency, our passion and our only focus, proven by staff members who possess many years of public health experience.
At the community level
One area that has been identified as most critical in building the national public health information infrastructure is that of community-level public health information systems. It is also the most complex area with few universal standards and procedures across communities, long project lead times due to decision and funding difficulties, and local control of public health expenditures and presence on a community. Often, larger companies, many with software merely modified for public health, withdraw from the challenge of a market so diverse and fragmented as community-level public health–a market where KIPHS is strategically equipped, and indeed has proven to excel at addressing the information system complexities at the community level and turning out solutions.
Because of a focused vision for public health, our low overhead and costs are made reasonable for community-level health departments. And there are no add-on charges for new versions and upgrades of KIPHS software products. We see clients as more than customers, but partners who participate in the on-going functional development of the software through the requirements definition process.
Applying business techniques to Public Health
Call it a meeting of the minds. Private industry has come a long way in the area of business system development and, as such, their information systems techniques have been streamline.
KIPHS lead designer, Pete Kitch, has more than 30 years experience in private industry systems development as a nationally recognized purveyor of business systems and as consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and various government entities, including public health departments. He concludes that public health uses information system support in the way same as private industry. The resulting advantage to public health is that the basic principles for designing an information system remain the same.
Constructing a well-planned framework is essential to any technology solution. Incomplete architecture and unclear definitions of what is needed in an information system are often the cause for inefficient and ineffective solutions.
Our Requirements Definition Process applies the most advanced business system development techniques and provides a starting point to a well-designed public health information system.
A primary objective at KIPHS, Inc. is to bring the same streamlined business system techniques to bear on public health information systems. What’s more, the KIPHS team is unparalleled in information system development expertise coupled with a working knowledge of public health practices and needs.
The result: Superior public health information system solutions and support for KIPHS software users.
Involved with Community, State and CDC
KIPHS, Inc. staff members regularly participate in several national public health organizations addressing the future direction of public health informatics, including involvement in one or more capacities with:
» Information system grant request reviewer for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
» Invited expert at American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) meeting focused on public health.
» CDC informatics meetings addressing public health information systems development
» Graduate-level public health program textbook co-authoring in cooperation with several CDC experts.
» Guest speaking at CDC informatics conferences
» National Association of City and County Health Officers (NACCHO) IT committee, invited technology expert.
» Member of All Kids Count national advisory committee and Connections Project participant.
» Turning Point’s national information system collaborative and key committee chairperson.
As a result of our national involvement and our innovative work with KIPHS, we have received a special CDC award recognizing our contribution to the advancement of the informatics in public health.
With broad support from key entities As we have maintained a narrow focus on community-based public health information system software, the financial and conceptual support has only broadened.
KIPHS, Inc. partners with a wide variety of entities such as:
» All Kids Count
» CDC’s Public Health Policy and Practice Office
» Kansas Health Foundation
» Kansas Department of Health and Environment
» Local Health Departments in many states
» National Association of City and County Health Officers (NACCHO)
» National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control
» Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
» Turning Point’s National Collaborative on Information Systems
The support that these organizations offer is an indication of the solid foundation on which KIPHS, Inc. is built. We are committed, as are each of these entities, to developing and maintaining the highest quality standards in public health information systems for the generations to come.