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Stylized map of the continental US and Alaska highlighting areas that contain people who use the Resource and Patient Management System.

Modernizing Health IT in Government

We captured a cross section of patient and staff experiences at American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) healthcare facilities.

A System Serving over 530 Tribes

Client name(s)
Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service
Partner name(s)
Regenstrief Institute, Inc., National Indian Health Board
Delivery Date
August 31, 2019

Evaluating the unique Health IT needs of communities spread across the continental United States and Alaska required intensive research.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) wanted to elevate the voices of American Indian and Alaska Native people as they advanced a plan for the future of the IHS’s healthcare technology. The agency sought to comprehend diverse drivers and the current state of their RPMS from a people, process, and technology perspective. They needed a partner to identify, assess, and evaluate key drivers to determine whether the legacy Indian Health Service (IHS) Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) could be modernized, and if so, how.

I am in awe of the work that Coforma was able to do. You captured a sense of IHS that I hope will inform any further work that is done. It will also help other communities and increase understanding of the value of HCD.
Teresa Cullen, MD, MS, FAMIA Research Scientist

A Human-Centered Approach

Our partners provided time and space for focused, participatory research, allowing us to co-create narratives that would be heard in Washington.

We helped the IHS understand the best path forward by using a human-centered design (HCD) and design thinking approach to drive research and assessment activities that focused on what matters to the people who use RPMS (e.g., service providers, clinicians, doctors, etc.) and the people serviced by the IHS, Alaskan Native and American Indians. We developed three viable modernization routes, including encapsulation, replatforming, and replacing the current system.

Woman and child checking in at the doctor

This assessment will enable the IHS to make critical, human-centered decisions about the future of their Health IT with patient health impact at the forefront.


Three pages of the modernization report detailing some of the analysis developed.

A portion of the provider experience analysis developed for the report.

Synthesized Findings

Interviews, interoperability analysis, site visits, surveys, and listening sessions yielded a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities from a people, process, and technology perspective.

A map of the United States with blue boxes where we conducted our research.

Our research and analysis took place in person and virtually, allowing us to consider pain points and workflows of all the people who use the RPMS, in the environment they use it.

Thorough Research

We researched and presented findings on the experiences of all system actors.

Project Team

  • AngelaAngela HopkinsCopywriter & Editor
  • ArdenArden KlemmerDesign Lead
  • ChristopherChristopher PerryTechnologist
  • EduardoEduardo OrtizTechnologist & Advisor
  • KateKate MurphyDesigner
  • PeterPeter HouseTechnology Consultant
  • SabrinaSabrina FonsecaResearch Lead
  • VictorVictor GarciaTechnology Lead