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System scalability prepares SKYGEN clients for the future

DARRIN HAEHLE, Chief Technology Officer, SKYGENDARRIN HAEHLE, Chief Technology Officer,SKYGEN
Secure, flexible and scalable IT systems give providers of dental and vision benefits the ability to address fluctuating data processing needs efficiently and cost-effectively as business conditions change.

Managing growth in a client's business—defined as increased membership and benefit utilization in their dental/vision benefits products—without having to re-architect their entire IT system requires a scalable platform. Scalability and flexibility are also required to deal with business fluctuations such as an acquisition, an increasing number of authorization requests or claims submissions, or more member and provider customer support calls, all of which come with growing data processing workloads. The scalable IT system resources and expertise that SKYGEN provides keep our clients’ companies running seamlessly regardless of business conditions. They also givere source-constrained IT departments what they need to ensure all systems are go at any given moment while freeing them to focus on strategic projects.

At SKYGEN, we have architected our client platform—the SKYGEN Enterprise System—to allow us to quickly and seamlessly scale applications for reporting, integration and analytics onto SKYGEN servers dedicated to those functions, thus reducing the compute workload of the primary transactional system that is processing the client's day-to-day health benefits claims. We pre-plan the capabilities our clients may need based on their business projections and the state of the market, enabling them to scale computing horsepower instantaneously whenever necessary.

Let's look a little more closely at how we future-proof IT systems to accommodate our clients' business growth.

Thorough scalability benchmarking

We host software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for our clients, so security and scalability are paramount. We take that responsibility very seriously as we develop and deploy new opportunities for them. Each engagement starts with determining their unique data management processing needs:

• What is the size of their membership?
• What are their claim volumes?
• What are their call volumes?

• What type of data processing activities go on day-in and day-out?

• Are they receiving and processing large and frequent ETL (extract, transform, and load) data file transactions, or do they receive a lot of automated web service calls?

• How are external stakeholders utilizing their web portals (including their providers and members)? How are they accessing and using self-service capabilities?

• How many of the clients’ employees are going to be accessing the system, and specific components of the system, on a day-to-day basis?

Once we have a clear picture of the client's primary business processes, we can architect an IT environment that will handle an increasing workload seamlessly, even if the volume of their business transactions double or triple in the future.Our mission is to support business growth without having to rearchitect our or our clients’ IT systems.

Rigorous scalability testing

To test the performance of the system under future workload scenarios, we initiate performance tests that emulate users (internal and/or external) logging onto the system and going about their daily activities. With that as a baseline, we simulate what happens as data processing workloads increase—in some cases, double or triple—due to projected membership growth and a surge in transaction volume. Real-world scenarios may include:

• Claims processing, from the moment the healthcare provider enters the claim in a web portal until it is fully adjudicated, including error detection.

• System calls to web services to access member, eligibility or claim status information.

• Emulating large batch file transfer and processing on an ETL basis and having that data refreshed, updated and loaded into the Enterprise System.

Our approach to benchmarking and performance testing is rigorous. We take simulations to the extreme, adding a surfeit of users during high-traffic hours and tapering off significantly as demand wanes over the course of eight-, 12- and 24-hour cycles.

Conclusion:

As healthcare payers and providers grow, and their systems become more connected and interoperable, they will be challenged by ever-increasing volumes of highly sensitive data, all of which needs to be stored, accessed, analyzed and processed securely.

The SKYGEN Enterprise System offers a secure, flexible and scalable solution that prepares them for business growth now and into the future.
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