National Military Appreciation Month: Improving Veteran Healthcare Through Innovative Technology


May 19, 2021

In honor of National Military Appreciation Month, we’re proud to feature Cognosante leaders who support military and Veteran missions through the work they do for our customers. We spoke with Erick Peters, Chief Technology Officer at Cognosante, and a Navy Veteran. He shares his perspective on how innovative technology is improving healthcare for Veterans.  

Erick, what is your background in serving in the U.S. military, and how did it prepare you for your work in the civilian world, specifically serving our customers at Cognosante?  

From 1996-2002, I served in the United States Navy supporting nuclear engineering, propulsion systems, and overall electrical/electronic systems. My time in the military prepared me for a civilian career in anticipated but also some unexpected ways.   

Anticipated Benefits 

  • Building,  mentoring, coaching, and leading teams–The military is known for, and rightfully so, creating mature leaders who motivate, coordinate, and lead teams to shared outcomes.  
  • Advanced technical troubleshooting–I learned to understand the nuances of technology, navigate unique challenges, troubleshoot issues, and creatively solve problems.  
  • Personal and technical  integrity–While you cannot “teach” integrity per say, reinforcing the critical importance of always doing the right thing, no matter who is “watching,” is a critical lesson injected into the Nuclear Navy since the days of Admiral Rickover.  

Unforeseen Benefits 

  • Managing the unexpected–My time in the military, especially when deployed in the middle of the ocean, forced the development of creative solutions to complex problems, under less-than-ideal conditions,  while managing through limiting constraints (i.e. supply chain, access to experts).  
  • Responding to emergencies–The military forges a sense of necessary calm when things go wrong, enabling service members and veterans to deliver a calming approach to dealing with emergencies.  There is little I have experienced in my civilian career that compares to the high stakes faced in active duty.  This creates a foundational sense of “we have this under control” and enables methodical, data-driven approaches to managing through challenges.  

As CTO of Cognosante,  can you elaborate on our mission to increase access to health for military and Veterans? What role does technology play?  

Cognosante is and always has been focused on quality outcomes for people seeking health services, including for our active service members and Veterans.  Everyone deserves quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare; and for those who have served our country, I would go a step further and say they have earned it, especially when health outcomes can be materially impacted through military service, such as a service-connected disability.   

Our focus is to ensure that the right technology is applied in an ideal way to deliver measurable outcomes such as, but not limited to: 

  • Ease of access to care through the implementation of streamlined referrals 
  • Delivery of analytics to ensure quality of outcome for service members and Veterans 
  • Using technology and data expertise to deliver higher reliability of care 
  • Delivering health information exchange and interoperability services to ensure access to data in support of care delivery, and 
  • Using modern approaches to deliver home telehealth and telemonitoring, which gives care providers more support of care continuity, even when service members or Veterans are at home. 

What is unique about the approach that Cognosante  brings to developing innovative technologies to support the military mission?  

 There are numerous companies and experts who drive value for service members and Veterans, and we are continually expanding our partnerships with these providers to bring the best solutions to our customers. What makes us unique is our true passion, our focus on mission, and our inexhaustible desire to make a difference.  We purposefully measure our solutions and innovations using human factors, quality of outcomes, and commitment to continual improvement over time. Our innovations are purposeful, tailorable, and measurable; ensuring material and positive outcomes. 

As a leader and a Veteran, what is significant to you about recognizing National Military Appreciation Month?  

While it’s vital to appreciate individual sacrifices made in service of our country, we should also use this month to reinvigorate our year-round appreciation.  Recognition for those who serve(d) should happen during National Military Appreciation Month, Memorial Day, and on Veterans Day, but also every day we enjoy the freedoms earned through the sacrifice of others.  Further, we must remember, honor, and appreciate military families who tirelessly and selflessly support their service members and Veterans. 

 

Cognosante’s mission is to support the health, safety, and well-being of Americans who serve the nation, especially those who need it most. Learn more about the impact we’re making on the behalf of those who have served, or are currently serving, and their families. 

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