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Can’t we just TeleEverything? I’ve got Netflix to Binge Watch!

telemedicine
telemedicine

Can’t we just TeleEverything? I’ve got Netflix to Binge Watch!

While money cannot buy happiness, it can certainly buy time. This truism is the driving philosophy of successful companies like Netflix, Uber, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Peloton, Amazon, Instacart and HelloFresh. These companies have come to define the convenience economy with business models based on giving back time, today’s leading currency, to customers. As a busy entrepreneur, I certainly take advantage of many time-saving services like prescription deliveries and telehealth visits.

In fact, the time Americans waste while waiting to be seen by a doctor equates to $1.5 billion a year. Anyone who has ever checked out of a hospital knows that “you’ll be going home today” really means maybe by 4:00 pm. Yet, despite the downfalls of in-person appointments, telemedicine did not take off until the pandemic hit in 2020. The question is, why?

Why Did It Take A Pandemic For Telemedicine To Flourish?
I think the answer lies in the convergence of convenience, willingness to take risks to get it, and policy changes spurred by Covid-19. If a man paddleboarding across the Hudson River to make a meeting or jumping into an Uber (although our mothers told us never to get in a car with a stranger!) is any indication, consumers are ready to take risks for the sake of convenience.

Before the lockdown began last year, people were afraid it might be too risky to see a doctor online due to fear of receiving an inaccurate diagnosis. Because of the shutdowns, however, telehealth became the only way to get medical attention and was a safer alternative to in-person care.

To facilitate the expanded use of telehealth services for healthcare delivery, the government issued temporary regulatory changes. These changes, including adjusted payments for telehealth services, have allowed doctors to stay in business and continue treating the sick. These changes most likely will become permanent.

The Future of Telemedicine
In the 1964 illustrated sitcom, The Jetsons, Elroy Jetson complains that he is not feeling well and has to stay home from school. Rather than take him to the doctor, his mother Jane calls up the doctor on the videophone. Today this retro-futuristic vision of telehealth visits has become a reality.

The digital health industry has improved the patient-provider relationship through mobile apps, patient portals, wearable health sensor devices, and app-based symptom checkers. We will continue to see more AI-driven tools that bring the tactile senses to telehealth visits.

The most important change coming down the road is the transformation of the healthcare delivery model to a value-based one where providers, hospitals, and physicians receive payments based on patient health outcomes. New value-based programs stress a team-oriented, network approach to patient care management that involves coordinating care through the responsible sharing of patient data. Adopting healthcare technology like electronic health record systems creates an online system view that allows healthcare providers to readily track and measure patient outcomes. In value-based healthcare models, primary, acute care, and specialty care are united in a coordinated group approach, led by a patient’s primary physician, who directs the patient’s care team. Telehealth will be vital to ensuring that medical teams can conveniently work with patients without the inundation of time-consuming in-person visits.

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Leadership Thoughts

Partnerships Are a Path to Success

partnership blog by ashley mehta
partnership blog by ashley mehta

Partnerships Are a Path to Success

At Nolij, we value our partnerships. As a woman-owned business, strategic business partnerships have enabled Nolij to grow our customer base, improve our business and expand our service offerings. But before entering a partnership, you must ask yourself what the purpose is in forming a business relationship. Besides gaining new customers, there are many reasons why a small business enters a partnership: reach a new market, access to new products, strengthen a vulnerability or brand alignment. In the case of Nolij, we have successful professional relationships with consulting firms to win contracts, solve technology and business problems and expand service capabilities.

There are many types of partnerships, at varying levels, that help organizations grow and succeed. For example, we have relationships with service-based organizations, product providers and other consultancies to form joint ventures. We also partner with business process outsourcing companies (BPOs), like Paylocity, Cigna, and PB Mares, that provide operational support to Nolij. BPOs are invaluable and free up executive management to focus on business operations, strategy and customers. Despite the different types of partnerships, they are united by a similar customer profile.

Nolij has recently formed three new joint ventures to expand service offerings to our customers. Our joint ventures capitalize on synergies and bring together under one roof leading-edge emerging technologies that create economies of scale, efficiency, and security for our customers. Joint ventures and partnerships in general benefit all parties involved in that partners complement each other’s capabilities while saving customers time and expense. For example, through a successful partnership with a parallel IT consultancy, Nolij was able to implement an artificial intelligence contract tool for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to transform its procurement processes and save millions in costs across the enterprise.

For each of our projects across different verticals, program offices and agencies, we form a pool of partners where our combined diverse capabilities best serve the needs of our clients. For the Department of Defense’s large-scale multi-year electronic health record (EHR) modernization project, we partnered with product solutions companies that brought added value. Nolij and our partners worked in tandem to modernize the EHR system, optimize workflows, create innovative ways for the system to communicate, and improve the continuum of patient care. In working with Department of Homeland Security clients, we leveraged our skills, in conjunction with automation products from partners, to enhance the Custom Border Protections systems. Our partner philosophy allowed this agency to dramatically improve and strengthen its automation testing skills.

A very important element in any partnership is the ability to deliver. Nolij works with many subcontractors, whether they are minority, veteran, or women-owned companies, that have the credentials, skills and maturity needed to help win a contract and successfully complete a project. Once a partnership is launched, it is crucial to honor contractual agreements.

Throughout our nine years, we have enjoyed effective partnerships that have been founded on mutual respect, transparency and honesty. Every day we continue to collaborate, be open- minded, flexible and fair with our teaming partners. At the end of a project, it is gratifying to celebrate success jointly with our colleagues and recognize each team’s strengths. 

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Nolij Consulting LLC awarded the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Test Automation Support Services Task (TASS)

G2 Xchange awards
G2 Xchange awards

Nolij Consulting LLC awarded the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Test Automation Support Services Task (TASS)

Nolij Consulting LLC, “Nolij”, awarded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Test Automation Support Services Task (TASS), a 4-year contract. Nolij met the challenges of a rigorous multi-phase solicitation process, which included a written proposal, an oral presentation, and a coding challenge to demonstrate end-to-end automation testing. Nolij’s capabilities and expertise beat out 10 highly skilled competitors. This thrilling win demonstrates Nolij’s extensive expertise in the design, development, and deployment of automation frameworks and suites, Agile framework and processes, automation scripting, software testing for enterprise deployments, security compliance, and performance testing. We are excited to support CBP in their mission and efforts and will live up to the demands of this agency. “CBP, thank you for this award. It’s a privilege to be awarded this contract and we’ll work hard every day to support your mission.” says Ashley Mehta, President and CEO of Nolij Consulting, a woman-led consulting business.

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Why Nolij Thinks AI Will Lead to A More Collaborative Workforce

AI and workforce
AI in workforce

Why Nolij Thinks AI Will Lead to A More Collaborative Workforce

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being rapidly incorporated into the workplace and our daily lives, fundamentally disrupting the way we live and work. Machines are transforming the nature of work and the workplace itself by taking over more of the tasks performed by people, complementing the work that we do, and even performing certain tasks that go beyond human abilities. In medicine, machine learning algorithms are used to assess images such as scans and x-rays, looking for early warning signs of disease. New generations of AI-powered autonomous systems are increasingly being employed in a variety of fields, ranging from self-driving cars to customer service bots and automated supermarket check-outs. Concern over this looming shift is widespread. AI is often perceived as something that will eventually replace people, lead to widespread job losses and devalued interpersonal relations at work.

When reflecting on AI in the workplace many people envision a dystopian environment where robots take control of day-to-day activities or decisions, essentially making people obsolete. It is emerging AI systems beyond-human cognitive abilities that many fear will dehumanization the future workforce. So, how will AI technologies really change the role of people in the workplace of the future? AI will automate repetitive, process-oriented, schedule-related tasks, which will allow employees to focus on more people-oriented activities, like employee engagement, and utilize skills such as empathy, social skills, and emotional intelligence, analysis and big-picture decision making. Taking these factors into account, we built an AI product called Renaissance to help procurement and acquisition professionals. Renaissance scans millions of documents at lightning speed to locate relevant data and frees up the workforce to focus on mission-critical work. Our AI product allows employees to concentrate on the soft skills required to move the business forward while automating operational processes.

As people skills become the focus, higher cognitive skills such as analysis, creativity and critical thinking will be even more valuable. These skills will give organizations the competencies to be more innovative, which will in turn lead to rapid growth. Therefore, organizations benefit from an increased in productivity generated by greater automation, meaning more revenue that can be spent on creating jobs throughout all the sectors.

Renaissance demonstrates that the dystopian perception of AI domination over people in the workplace is not wholly accurate. The unique capabilities of human beings are more relevant than ever, even in the face of rapid technological progress. We embrace AI technologies by exploring how it will augment human capabilities to cultivate a broader view of systems. In direct contrast to dystopian perceptions, AI could lead to a workforce based on enhanced human collaboration. 

However, what we do anticipate is that employees will need to contend with significant workforce transitions by acquiring new skills and adapting to the increasingly proficient machines in the workplace. As company leaders, it will be imperative for us to navigate large-scale change in a variety of areas while keeping human capabilities and values front and center. While AI will undoubtedly displace some jobs, such displacement will create new opportunities as adoption to new technologies have done previously. For example, we have seen a near eradication of jobs like switchboard operator, travel agent, or elevator operator. Meanwhile, new titles like data scientist, app developer, and social media director have emerged. We at Nolij promote forging a partnership between AI and the workforce to create optimal outcomes for our clients, rather than a competition between people and machines.

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2020 Virtual National Women Veterans Leadership and Diversity Conference Career Fair

2020 Virtual National Women Veterans Leadership
2020 Virtual National Women Veterans Leadership

2020 Virtual National Women Veterans Leadership and Diversity Conference Career Fair

Ashley Mehta, the amazing President of Nolij Consulting LLC, is joining that lineup for the 2020 Women Veterans Leadership and Diversity Conference Presented by B3 Group, Inc.

Ms. Mehta will join three other dynamic women to discuss how and why “Empowered Women Empower Women Veterans!”

I can’t wait to have this important conversation on Friday, November 13th.

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Nolij support of the Inova Frontline Workers

Nolij support of the Inova Frontline Workers
Inova Frontline Workers

Nolij support of the Inova Frontline Workers

Inova Health System’s first Virtual Honors Event on Friday, November 6th, was a great success and raised approximately $1.2M from employees, businesses and community organizations. This support will help fund Inova’s Emergency Preparedness Plan to provide resources such as gowns, gloves and masks and meals to their 19,000 frontline staff and physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Silver Sponsors, Nolij is proud to stand with the Inova frontline heroes who are working tirelessly to provide essential services to families amidst a global pandemic. We feel it is more important than ever to help our local hospitals rise to this unprecedented challenge in meeting the health needs of our family, neighbors, co-workers, and community.

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Nolij Supports Local Community by Paying it Forward to Support First Responders and Neighbors

Great American Community Kitchen
Great American Community Kitchen

Nolij Supports Local Community by Paying it Forward to Support First Responders and Neighbors

“With a few taps on a mobile app, Nolij provided 300 meals to our first responders and neighbors in need. It’s always gratifying to give, but especially when it is so easy,” said Ashley Mehta, CEO and President of Nolij Consulting.  Nolij used The Great American Restaurant chain’s mobile app to donate
meals via its charity program, The Great American Community Kitchen. They locate the need, prepare the meals, and distribute them on behalf of an organization or individual.

To learn more, go to https://patsysamerican.com/communitykitchen.

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Social Media Handles Rock For Federal Consulting Businesses And Why You Should Think So Too

Social Media Handles Rock For Federal Consulting
Social Media Handles Rock For Federal Consulting

Social Media Handles Rock For Federal Consulting Businesses And Why You Should Think So Too

Covid struck, and Nolij transitioned to virtual work overnight. I thought, “How do we stay connected to our clients, prospective clients, teaming partners, and employees in a virtual environment?” Traditionally, in the federal consulting world, consulting businesses try to get in front of clients and teaming partners through scheduled in-person meetings or industry events and connect via emails for specific opportunities. I thought. “How do we show that Nolij is an authentic woman-ran consulting business, we value our partners, we are committed to delivering excellence to our clients, and are at the forefront of emerging technologies? How do we build trust, loyalty, and a strong brand as a health IT woman-owned consulting business?” Meeting in person has its charm and value, and while I look forward to doing it once more, I’m learning there are other avenues to build our brand and make connections.

Our answer was to dedicate more resources, energy, and time to branding Nolij on various social media handles. Nolij hired a marketing consulting company and a full-time social media consultant. Even though we have these professional resources, our employees also play a large role in the process. It is a time-consuming effort to get the marketing going, but with more experience and time, we hope this process becomes easier, and we build a solid following that values our posts.

Today we are active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Glassdoor. It is a lot of fun communicating the great work that our employees do every day. It is a time to boast and brag, and genuinely enjoy our existing relationships and develop new ones.

For people curious about what we’ve learned along the way, we’ve highlighted a few lessons learned.

  • The power of a quick read is essential for increasing views and shares. Today’s busy business professional wants to cut to the heart of an article in a very short amount of time. We discovered that our 1–2-minute blogs and articles create more traffic than our longer 5-minute reads. For example, our one-minute read, “Employees are the Heart of Nolij”  received the most page views in the shortest period.
  • Videos drive traffic to make connections! We found that short videos with creative content incorporating a strategic message maximize the numbers of views, likes, comments, and shares. For example, our EHR video received over 1,000 views on LinkedIn within a few days.
  • Blog topics matter! Timely and relevant topics that address today’s unique challenges generated higher traffic patterns than general topics. We have discovered that relevant blogs increase traffic to our website creating new opportunities for connections. For example, my blog “Secrets to Success-for-Female-Founders had the highest average time spent on a page.
  • People love a laugh, mix it up a little too… don’t always be serious. Christmas Eve, I sent out a video of a lady downing red wine, and my caption was “I’m not ready for Christmas!”. A friend of mine sent it to me, and I thought it would be funny to post it during Covid times. Needless to say, my funny friend got me 1,000 impressions within a few days on LinkedIn.

I am hoping more CEO’s and businesses in federal consulting follow suit. Writing meaningful content that both educates and allows companies like Nolij to get to know them better. It is more important than ever during Covid times to use Social Media.

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Tech For Troops, A Great Home for Nolij’s Retired Computers

Tech For Troops, A Great Home for Nolij’s Retired Computers
Tech For Troops, A Great Home for Nolij’s Retired Computers

Tech For Troops, A Great Home for Nolij’s Retired Computers

We are honored to donate our retired laptop computers to Tech For Troops.

Tech For Troops provides workforce support to veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. They provide veterans and their children with computers, technical training, and career networking opportunities. Tech For Troops’ mission is to eradicate homelessness and poverty by bridging the digital divide.

Nolij is dedicated to giving back to our veterans in appreciation of their service.  We sincerely thank Tech For Troops for giving us this great opportunity. If you would like to learn more about Tech For Troops, please visit https://techfortroops.org/

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Congrats Molly on Getting A Shot of Freedom!

Congrats Molly on Getting A Shot of Freedom!
Congrats Molly on Getting A Shot of Freedom!

Congrats Molly on Getting A Shot of Freedom!

Molly Stegman, a former Nolij intern, demonstrated bravery, selflessness, and for some, did the unthinkable. In March, Covid struck and took lives, and no one knew how Covid would attack the weak or strong. At the time, Molly was a thriving biology major at Virginia Tech and working as an EMT for Blacksburg Rescue. The university suddenly shifted to all remote learning and sent the students home. Covid thought it had derailed Molly’s ability to get hands-on experience, but when you are brave and a determined young woman, you overcome the challenges in front of you! Back in her home town, as the Covid scare was at new heights, Molly teamed up with her family physician to provide much-needed support to his busy practice. While the rest of us questioned her judgment, Molly persevered to overcome her Covid fears and help others fight off Covid.

Today we share a proud picture of her receiving her first Covid vaccination dose before she heads back to school! We can’t be prouder of our former intern! One more reason to empower women in the workplace!

Excellent job Molly, and congrats on your first vaccination dose. Thank you!

As a side note, if you get Covid, please call your physician and start your treatment immediately.