Matt Gifford leads Quality Assurance at HCS, ensuring that defect identification, learning, and continuous improvement guide our work. Matt leads Quality Assurance on three main levels:
1. Robust quality systems underlie all work and ensure that processes are executed appropriately, defects are identified, and improvements are implemented.
2. A quality-focused culture where defects are not ignored or hidden but sought out as opportunities for learning and improvement.
3. Built-in transparency, measurement, learning, and improvement in all HCS operations, such as how software is built and tested, the high standards for patient calls, privacy and security standards, and the documentation and execution of policies and procedures.
What makes you most proud about the Quality Assurance team and capability at HCS?
We operate in a highly regulated environment. To consistently deliver in this environment, we drive the right ‘operational framework’ (e.g. quality systems, SOPs, audit trails, etc.), employee training and mindset, and proactive measurement and improvement. Operational excellence is all about excellent quality systems: defect identification, learning, and improvement systems drive progress.
I am extremely proud of my team for driving the validation of our Learning Management System as well as the validation of our Resilix® platform. The Call Quality Team has also met all Service Level Agreements over the past two years with each client, which is a great achievement.
What recent achievements in Quality at HCS deserve note?
We have always been in FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance, and we recently completed the long path to Part 11 certification. It’s been a long road and a tremendous effort, but it is a testament to the tenacity and commitment of our team. It’s also been a true ‘full team’ effort across all of HCS, with every part of the company directly involved in this achievement.
What made these achievements possible?
Constant communication. We have frequent check ins and in-person gatherings whenever possible. There’s trust, honesty, and most of all, we all maintain a good sense of humor and always think outside the box. At HCS, employees are constantly challenged to take on more responsibility and use their strengths in areas where the business needs you. It leads to an unbelievable amount of growth, opportunity, and innovation.
What most excites you about Quality at HCS looking forward?
I love the central role Quality plays at HCS. We are always seeking to apply operational science and quality systems to every part of HCS, and there is always more to be done. The future is bright.
What's most challenging about your role?
The nature of the Head of Quality role is that I am I usually among the most involved in challenging situations. For example, this is rare, but whenever a Major Defect is identified, I need to lead our effort to discover what happened, inform all necessary parties (including clients as needed), and determine and implement the right corrective and preventative actions. This can all involve a fair bit of challenge, but I really appreciate the chance to lead in these situations and ensure we fix whatever is broken so we get it right the next time.
How does Quality at HCS stay ahead of the curve?
I would say there are two critical angles: how does quality stay ahead of the curve and how does quality ensure that HCS stays ahead. Within Quality, we are actively testing and using AI, ML, and NLP technologies to improve the percent of defects identified, and the cost of identification.
More critically, the role of Quality is to ensure HCS has the mindset, measurement, roles and responsibilities, and processes to always get better and better. We are built on operational science, and applying measurement and defect identification – root causes, learnings, systematic solutions – to everything we do. Patient services personnel work from programmable data-driven work instructions to (a) track process completion, (b) enable analytics for continuous process improvement, and (c) continually improve service effectiveness and patient experience.
What do you love about working at HCS?
Every day is different and there are so many wonderful people who work here with a common goal: to support patients. It’s our passion. It’s one thing to enjoy your job, it’s another to also love what you do because it’s helping people. I believe that’s why HCS is such a rewarding place to work. We are always raising the bar and finding ways to get better.
Tell us a bit about your interests and life outside of work?
I love to watch sports, explore New York City with my wife and daughter, run, go to concerts, and sleep (when I can).
What is your background prior to HCS?
I went to Boston College where I studied philosophy and theology. Once I discovered healthcare quality as a career, I knew I had found a match. I love the way quality drives a discipline and relentless pursuit of problems/defects that together make everything else better.