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H4 Technology featured in Beckers Hospital Review for Top Population Health Management Companies to Know

Hospitals and health systems across the country are developing and implementing population health initiatives aimed at providing better patient care, wellness and prevention. Population health efforts can include targeting at-risk populations for diagnostic testing and preventative measures, chronic care management and home care support.

Population health initiatives rely on data gathering and analytics to develop an understanding of patient populations and gaps of care. Here are more than 65 population health management companies to know, in alphabetical order.

H4 Technology (Omaha, Neb.). H4 Technology is a data management and analytics provider to hospitals, ACOs, health information exchanges and behavioral health organizations. The company’s health analytics dashboard can help organizations drill down to identify provider or patient impact and benchmark an organization’s effectiveness against national standards.

For more information, please visit http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/lists/70-population-health-management-companies-to-know-2017.html

 

Top 5 Business Intelligence Trends in 2017

According to a Harvey Nash / KPMG survey healthcare CIOs are significantly more interested in expanding data analytics infrastructure in 2017 than counterparts in other industries (1).  To help with this interest we put together our Top 5 Business Intelligence trends for 2017.

 

  1. Predictive Analytics

This buzz word has gathered a lot of attention in 2016 and we see this trend continuing into 2017.   How can you improve in 2017?  Use predictive analytics to take preventative action to positively impact the organization.  Examples include the LACE metric which predicts patient risk of readmission and notifying coordinated care team to work with those identified patients at high risk.

 

  1. Self Service Dashboards and Analysis

Implement business intelligence solutions with self service capability.  Many organizations track KPIs in their various departments.  What happens when you have an ad hoc data requests or the boss needs that report but in a different way?  Self-service analytics empowers people in your organization to create insight into your data to make it meaningful and actionable.  Easy to use tools gives user the ability to create data dashboards and reports for their various use cases.

 

  1. Data Storytelling/Storyboarding

Data storytelling or storyboarding is the technique of bringing data to life by visually laying out various data scenarios to make it easier to communicate and understand.  Storytelling with data can have tremendous impact on comprehension of data whether this is strategy sessions or monthly forecasting.

 

  1. Decentralized Analytic Control

Ever been in that scenario where 1 team member or group is the gatekeeper to data?  Ever asked for specific reports or KPIs and receive them a week or month after you needed it?   I’ve witnessed this first hand at a previous organization.   Flatten out your data analytic control by providing easy to use tools that multiple users or departments can leverage to slice and dice data to their own need i.e. operations has different needs/use cases on patient demographics than marketing.

 

  1. Web Based / SAAS models

Lower cost of entry, no maintenance, reduced risk, secure data, coupled with a reduced time to implement and less staff resources required to implement enables organizations to have a business intelligence solution live in weeks as opposed to months.

 

 

 

(1)    http://healthitanalytics.com/news/healthcare-cios-turning-to-data-analytics-for-business-intelligence

Accelerating Towards Value Based Payments

MIPS Timeline

In 2015, CMS announced plans to accelerate the move of Medicare Reimbursement towards value based payments.   Value based payment is measurement on positive quality (including care coordination) and cost effectiveness of healthcare providers.  Health IT and sophisticated data systems play a crucial role to integrate, analyze, present, and engage patients who are at risk or preventable of  high cost outcomes.

  • Link 85% of Medicare Part A and Part B payments to quality and value by end of 2016 and 90% by end of 2018
  • Increase participation in Alternative Payment Models (APM) to 30% by the end of 2016 and 50% by 2018.  APMs include Accountable Care Organizations(ACOs), Patient Centered Medical Homes, and Bundled Payment Models

MACRA (Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of  2015)

MACRA was passed in April of 2015 enabling CMS to move more quickly towards the goal of providing value based patient care by enabling healthcare provides to more easily participate in value based programs such as Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Alternative Payment Models (APM).

  • MACRA provides a 5% incentive payment for those eligible/qualified professionals who are participating in an Alternative Payment Model (APM)
  • To be a qualified APM participant, you must receive 25% of payments through an alternative payment entity in 2019 and 50% in 2020 and on
  • Eligible Professionals not participating in Alternative Payment Models are subject to Merit Based Incentive Program (MIPS)

 

MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment System)

MIPS program consolidates pieces of the Physician Quality Reporting System(PQRS), Value Based Payment Modifier, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record(EHR) incentive programs into a single program in 2019.

Four Rate Categories:

  • Quality(30%)
  • Resource Use (30%)
  • Meaningful Use of certified EHR (25%)
  • Clinical Practice Improvement (15%)

CMS will calculate a performance score based on these reporting numbers and providers are eligible to an incentive payment or penalty based on performance against this benchmark in subsequent years:

Additional Incentives

  • 2019 – Up to 4%
  • 2020 – Up to 5%
  • 2021 – Up to 7%
  • 2022 – Up to 9%

Note:  The MIPS and APM quality measures are currently not set in stone. CMS created the draft MACRA Measure Development plan and the final plan is due on 5/1/2016 to establish the requirements for development of approved measures of MIPS and APMs.  Stayed tuned for more information as these final measures are released and for more information on MIPS, MACRA, & APMs please visit www.cms.gov

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs.html

Analytics needed for Providers to Transition to Value Based Care

COMPASS Dashboard Image

At HIMSS earlier this month, Interoperability, Population health and Value Based Care were hot discussion topics among the attendees, vendors and educational participants.

CMS has announced changes from the fee for service model for Medicare payments.  New Alternative Payment models are introduced to shift the focus from fee for service to value based care for patients.

Goal #1: 30% of Medicare payments are tied to quality or value through alternative payment models (i.e. ACO, medical homes, bundled payments, comprehensive primary care initiatives, pioneer ACOs) by the end of 2016, and 50% by the end of 2018

Goal #2: 85% of all Medicare fee-for-service payments are tied to quality or value (same as goal #1, plus hospital value-based purchasing, physician value based modifier, readmission/hospital acquired conditions reduction program) by the end of 2016, and 90% by the end of 2018.

One of these methods Healthcare providers are using is by forming Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to focus on these value based goals.  ACOs are groups of providers and suppliers of services (e.g., hospitals, physicians, and others involved in patient care) that agree to work together to coordinate care for the Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) patients they serve.  The goal of an ACO is to deliver seamless, high quality care for Medicare beneficiaries, instead of the fragmented care that often results from a FFS payment system in which different providers receive different, disconnected payments.  ACOs will be responsible for maintaining a patient-centered focus and developing processes to promote evidence-based medicine, promote patient engagement, internally and publicly report on quality and cost, and coordinated care.  When an ACO succeeds both in delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.1

Participants in value based arrangement will need to track what services that their population of patients are receiving at what costs as well as outcome measurements of those services to find true value of care.  The data needed to provide this type of value comes from a variety of clinical, hospital, and financial systems.  Providers need data management, integration and analytics to help them with to continuously monitor these value base quality measures across their organization at a reasonable price to compete as the healthcare landscape evolves.   These tools will also help find the cause if they aren’t meeting these quality metrics so the organization can adjust accordingly.

For more information on ACOs, please visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/ACO/index.html?redirect=/ACO/

 

1               https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/Downloads/ACO-NarrativeMeasures-Specs.pdf

Healthcare IT Connect Summit: H4T’s Chris Henkenius to Present with Nebraska DBH

State Health IT Summit Banner

 

 

For more information or to register, please visit www.healthcareitconnect.com

Data Integration, Management & Analytics for Behavioral Health: A Nebraska DHHS Model  March 22nd  10:00am  Track 3

Heather Wood, Quality Improvement and Data Performance Administrator, Division of Behavioral Health, NE Department of Health and Human Services

Christopher M. Henkenius, President, H4 Technology, LLC

In 2014, the Division of Behavioral Health in Nebraska initiated a project to refresh the data management platform utilized by the State and its providers to improve the quality of mental health & substance use disorder services. The result is a solution that utilizes recognized standards to create greater efficiency in provider-state collaboration and communication. This presentation will discuss the collaboration needed from state, region, provider, and technical stakeholders to achieve consensus on value. This value construct needed to balance usability with workflow and cost impacts to providers. The speakers will also discuss project and technical considerations, including how the project will utilize advanced interoperability strategies combined with care management and real time dashboards to deliver value to the users. – See more at: http://www.healthcareitconnect.com/2016-state-healthcare-it-connect-summit/#sthash.Y1QPAl8p.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

 

How our Health Insurance Premiums Went Down

eobee logo

As a small business, health insurance costs for our employees was a major concern.  As a small business in the healthcare industry, transforming healthcare was a major priority for us.  By merging those two concepts, our healthcare premiums REDUCED by more the 10% in 2016.

Step 1 was offering health insurance as part of our benefits package.  That was easy.  Step 2 was to make sure our employees were invested in their healthcare, so we funded their Health Savings Account (HSA) to 100% of the federal limit.  Step 3 was to introduce competition into our healthcare decision process, and allow our employees to choose medical care based on quality, and cost.  This is where EOBEE came in.

Eobee is a price transparency tool that organizations can offer to their employees, which will allow them to select medical care based on quality, cost, and contract data.  By reducing their healthcare spend, employees are able to stretch their HSAs longer, turning them into tax-deferred investment vehicles over the course of time.

Will your premiums reduce next year?  Maybe it’s worth learning a little more about EOBEE.

“If Failure is not an option, then neither is success.”

sethgodinquote2

 

Thanks to HIMSS, AHIP, and other healthcare conferences this year, I have had the opportunity to hear from big name speakers like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Elizabeth Holmes.   In Omaha this past week, Seth Godin delivered the opening keynote for the Omaha Chamber’s Make/Happen event.  Seth was far and away the best speaker I have ever heard.  I have a notebook full of memorable quotes, but perhaps my favorite is “If failure is not an option, then neither is success.”  This quote defined the healthcare technology industry, no?  We are starting to see the needle moving in the healthcare technology industry, and that success comes from the lessons learned from past failures.  Most of us that have been around this long should be pretty smart by now.

One of those failures dates to the early days of HIEs.  At that time, we all knew the HIE needed analytics to be sustainable.  Having a data management and analytics platform to go along with the integration capabilities would allow HIEs to court the ACOs and PCMHs, two groups that had the funding to help HIEs with sustainability.  Unfortunately, the vendor community had trouble helping us with those requests.  In their defense, they were very busy with core HIE functions, and all of us wanted something custom, but by the time the functionality was present (and affordable), many HIEs had missed their window.

12 months ago, H4T moved to product development.  We launched Compass, our data management and analytics tool.  Our differentiator is two-fold.  First, we are completely customizable.  Our dashboard and reporting functionality allows for sophisticated data analysis while our app-store concept allows any application to access the data warehouse.   Examples include integrating wearables for chronic disease monitoring, and utilization of CCDs for behavioral health authorizations.  The possibilities are limited only by the customer requirements.

Our second differentiator is cost.  Utilizing a combination of partnerships, low overhead, and sound financial management, we are a fraction of the cost of our competitors.  This again a result of learning from past failures.  HIEs, Nursing Homes, and rural healthcare facilities do not have the funding for the expensive systems on the market today, while those vendors are too busy to reduce their costs to meet the those needs.  Our plan from our inception was to meet those needs.

Under normal circumstances, companies touting customization and low cost usually sacrifice sustainability.  H4T, however, has long-term contracts with State Governments, a partnership with one of the top research hospitals in the country (The Nebraska Medical Center), and a long list of clients willing to provide excellent references.

H4T is wrapping up some major projects in the next two months, and is looking for the next challenge; the next opportunity to bring customized, affordable solutions to the healthcare marketplace.  If you are interested in learning more, or seeing a demo, we invite you to contact us at hello@h4-technology.com.  Experts are standing by.

Harnessing The Data Explosion


Compass Dashboard3

 

It is estimated that the amount of data that is generated increases ten times every 5 years and the rate of growth is increasing.  85% of the data is coming from new data sources, like wearable devices.  There are 4.3 connected devices per adult and 27% of businesses are using social media input.  According to a 2015 Gartner report, “By 2015, organizations integrating high-value, diverse, new information types and sources into a coherent information management infrastructure will outperform their industry peers financially by more than 20%”.1

  • How does data improve patient care?

  • How can I use data to improve care coordination?

  • How do I better predict future outcomes?   

In 2015, H4 Technology deployed COMPASS, a Business Intelligence solution that harnesses data from disparate sources into a common data model that allows our customers to gain insights into their data with custom analytics and warehousing.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A DATA WAREHOUSE?

Delivers Business Intelligence

By bringing together data from many sources, it allows key decision makers to make business decisions based on factual, solid data.  Population Health is one example of how Business Intelligence can paint a picture of the healthcare delivery system.

Saves Valuable Time

Time in business is valuable.  With critical data all in one place, users won’t have to spend hours looking for the right data.  Reports and dashboards can be set up to give immediate key information.

Leverages Efficiency

By utilizing a data warehouse, complex and detailed analytics can be run outside of the operational data store.  This model limits the risk of analytics draining resources and affecting your day to day operations.

Enhances Data Quality, Consistency and Accuracy

A key component of the COMPASS platform is the integration.  During the integration process, data is validated, standardized and saved to a common data model.  This ensures more accuracy in the data that will support business decisions.

Provides Historical Context

A large amount of historical data is stored in the data warehouse.  This allows for identifying trends over time, or to make future predictions.

Generates ROI 

Organizations that invest in Business Intelligence will outperform their peers and generate more revenue.

 

At H4T, we understand that no two healthcare organizations are alike. The existing one size fits all products, present data based on industry level requirements, not consumer centric data needs. Your data is only meaningful if you can control how and when you access your data. This is a core requirement that drives the vision of COMPASS. We help healthcare organizations make intelligent data driven decisions based on customer specific needs.

 

To learn more or schedule a demo, contact us!  hello@h4-technology.com

 

Organizations that invest in Business Intelligence will outperform their peers and generate more revenue."Information Management in the 21st Century", Gartner-Regina Casonato, Anne Lapkin, Mark A. Beyer, Yvonne Genovese, Ted Friendman, September 2011
What’s In A Name?

hellomynameisWhen we came on-board and relaunched H4T in October 2014, my partners and I started asking ourselves what H4T meant.  We discussed what we wanted this company to be.  The two most important ideas centered on healthcare and technology.

Our President, Chris Henkenius, is a nationally known expert in the Health Information Exchange (HIE) space and he knew first-hand the challenges and opportunities in Healthcare IT.  He knew that with the creative minds we could pull together, we could come up with new and innovative solutions to problems that have existed in healthcare for years.  He wanted to develop more than great solutions, he wanted to develop great products.

My other partner Craig Christenson, suggested we illustrate our product development vision by connecting our vision with our name.  We talked about what is important to us and how we want to change the way healthcare works in America.   We asked ourselves what H4T stood for.  The answer was obvious.  Our name means

Healthcare Technology.Transformation.Transition.Transparency

Each of the four T’s represent a core part of our vision all relating to healthcare.

Healthcare Technology – first and foremost, we are a technology company.  We develop new and innovative software for the healthcare field.  We want to help healthcare companies use technology to improve the delivery of healthcare.

Healthcare Transformation – we want to be an agent of change in the healthcare industry.  For years, people have been saying that healthcare in America is broken.  We understand the challenges and we want our products to leverage technology to help transform healthcare.

Healthcare Transition – as healthcare delivery in America continues to evolve, many healthcare companies are coming to the realization that they don’t have the resources or knowledge to manage the transition to new systems, or new ways of doing things.  With our knowledge, experience and products, we can help healthcare companies transition to new ways of managing their healthcare data, exchanging data with others and gain insight into their data with advanced analytics.

Healthcare Transparency – the healthcare industry is not transparent.  Ever try to call your doctor’s office and ask what a procedure costs, or the quality ratings of their doctors?  Our frustration with the lack of transparency in healthcare caused us to create a healthcare transparency application called Eobee.  With this app, anyone can search for costs, provider quality ratings and locations for some of the most common medical procedures.

Throughout the year, I will talk about what H4T and others are doing that reflect one or more of our four T’s.  We are a start-up, so things change almost every day.  It is both challenging and exciting.  We know that for most people, the first healthcare dollar comes from their wallets.  I urge you to partner with companies like H4T to take control of your own healthcare dollars and help drive change.  We would like to hear your stories, ideas and challenges.  Post them on our LinkedIn page, or add a comment in the blog.

David Petersen
Co-Owner | CTO
402-819-4441

Are Employers Prepared for the 40% Cadillac Tax in 2018?

healthcare moneyAre Employers prepared for the 40% Cadillac Tax in 2018?

The Affordable Care Act has come under scrutiny since it was passed in 2009. Whether it will be repealed or replaced only time will tell, but under the current law, employers need to brace themselves for what will come in 2018.

A major tax in this plan includes a 40% nondeductible “Cadillac” excise tax on the value of health coverage that exceeds $10,200 for self only coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. In evaluating this tax, it counts towards the total cost of employer sponsored covered which includes both employer and employee contributions, health savings accounts(HSAs), Health reimbursement arrangements(HRAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and other common pre tax benefits. This tax is a penalty and not deductible by the employer. Some estimates project that roughly 1/3 of all businesses will be impacted by this tax.

What will this do to the employer?

As the employers evaluate and review their benefit packages, excessive benefits will be cut and high-deductible health care plans will look more appealing lowering the employers total cost. Employers will need to rethink their benefit structure and put innovative tools in place to control and curb healthcare costs.

What does this mean for the employee?

The healthcare cost burden will continue to shift from the employer to the employee. Employees are the consumers of healthcare and need information at their fingertips to shop for healthcare. This information includes healthcare coverages, costs, and quality of providers so they can effectively manage their healthcare out of pocket costs.
What H4 Technology is doing?

H4 Technology believes that people are in control of their health and can positively impact their healthcare costs. That is why we choose to be on a high-deductible healthcare plan with the employer covering 70% of premium as well as contributing 100% to an employer sponsored HSA.   For the family coverage, we are under this Cadillac excise tax threshold but we are evaluating the individual employee plan.

This is also why H4 Technology has chosen to build healthcare solutions around price transparency. Find out how eobee can be an innovative platform to transform healthcare for your organization

 

Craig Christenson

Co-Owner | CMO

(402) 598-6561

craig@h4-technology.com

 

 

 

 

Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_stillfx’>stillfx / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

From Garage to the Street

Were MovingA year ago, we set out on a mission to find a space for our founders to collaborate in. We needed economic, dedicated space to work in and a whiteboard area to collaborate on projects.   Through a few referrals, we found a renovated office “garage” in the back of a bank at 96th & Giles.   The price was right and offered everything we needed…offices, work space, collaboration area, & restrooms.

Fast forward a year and we are now bursting at the seams. H4 Technology has expanded rapidly in the healthcare technology space as we have added new clients, products, and more employees. We have 9 full time employees and looking to hire more…a Front End Web Developer and Sales Executive if you know anyone 🙂

So what did people want in a new space? It was the simplest things that made them happy.

  • Individual work space
  • Separate area for collaboration
  • Clean Kitchen
  • Near bike path/walking path

 

 

                                             OLD                                                         NEW

Space                                    800 sq ft                                               4400 sq ft

Capacity                               8 people                                              30+ people

Offices                                   3                                                              7

Conference Room                1                                                              2

Collaboration Area              .25                                                             2

Game Room                        0                                                               1

Kitchen                                 mini-fridge                                             full

Restrooms                           shared                                                  have own

Bike Path                             miles away                                          Out our backdoor

We are excited to move into 14217 Dayton Cir next week and start the next chapter of H4 Technology as we feel we have the right team, products, and now facilities build a successful company for years to come.   As Healthcare Tech industry evolves, it is nice to know that we have a solid foundation to change with it. As Omaha Chamber members, I invite you to come by and check out our new facility during our upcoming Open house this fall. Stay Tuned…more info to come.

Thanks

Craig Christenson

Co-Owner | CMO

H4 technology

(402) 598-6561

www.h4-technology.com

Interview for HIMSS15

I recently conducted an interview for CEOCFO magazine. You can find it on their website which I won’t link here for philosophical reasons. It was something I had not done for a while, which made for an exciting conversation. They wanted to know the usual. What is H4 Technology? What do we do? Who do we do it for?

It was a great exercise for three reasons:

  1. H4 Technology has re-invented ourselves over the last 6 months. We are developing systems and databases for ourselves and our clients. We are also developing interfaces and tools for the Healthcare industry. These activities are a stark difference from the advisory consulting we were limited to in the past. In answering the questions, I reflected on the healthcare industry as a dichotomy of H4. For too long we have talked theory and strategy regarding the use of technology. It is time to get our hands dirty.
  2. This interview reminded me of why we have changed. Unlike more seasoned interviewees, I tend to speak from the heart first, then try to take my foot out of my mouth later. However, my first response to every question was to talk about the patient. Patients deserve care givers that use every tool available to them, and care givers deserve tools that are efficient and effective. H4 must meet these objectives.
  3. It was a great exercise because we need to introduce people to the new H4 Technology, a task we will devote a great deal of attention to starting at HIMSS in 2 short weeks. I would like to personally invite everyone to come find us in the First Time Exhibitors area at HIMSS (Booth 7574). We will be demoing COMPASS, our integrated data warehousing application that brings together silos of data for sophisticated analytical reporting. We will also be showcasing Eobee (Codename Bumblebee). EoBee is the first consumer-centric application to help patients control the cost and quality of healthcare themselves. It is revolutionary, transformative, and sure to raise a few eyebrows, especially those trying to keep competitive pricing out of healthcare.

Please stop by and say hi while at HIMSS, and invite others to stop by as well.   I can guarantee you that you have never seen anything like our booth at HIMSS before. It was built specifically to stand out from the rest, and we know it will. I personally look forward to catching up with everyone. Safe travels, and thank you for transforming healthcare!!

Chris Henkenius – President

 

New Year. New Healthcare Plan.

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Over the past two months, I have had the opportunity to be co-owner of a company and sit on the other side of the fence of healthcare insurance. Up until now, I have been an Employee, now I am an Employer. We started with 3 founders in October, grew to 5 employees by mid-November, 7 by the end of January, and will be pushing 10 by March 2015. With H4 Technology being in the technology sector, we have to hire intelligent and experienced programmers and database guru’s in the Omaha market while Nebraska is hitting a 3.1% in unemployment rate.  Tech jobs are at a premium and good people are hard to find.  As a part of the attraction to our flexible “garage” workplace, we need to offer premium benefits to attract and retain this talent. Shopping of Healthcare plans was a tedious process as we tested different brokers and insurance companies and I am happy to say came out with a top tier package that competes with the large employers out there. This did cost us more but I think it will pay off in the long run.

But as an employee, I had to sit down with my crystal ball and once again try to forecast my family’s health care cost for 2015 and choose the best plan to maximize my healthcare dollar. Things to consider: High deductibles, low deductibles, Co-Pays, Coinsurance, premium costs, out of pocket maximums, in-network vs out of network? I am no longer a 24 year old, single male, in great shape without any health issues. I have a wife, a 3 year old daughter and I blew past 25 over a decade ago. Sure, I have history on my side but needless to say, I was confused just like many other people.

  • What truly are my healthcare costs? Why can’t I shop for this?
  • Are our doctors In-Network now? This was never a concern before.
  • Will we have our second child in 2015? How much will it cost now to have a child?
  • Will I get an elective procedure done to resolve some nagging indigestion problems? If so, how much will that cost?
  • Will life throw us a medical curveball with my family?
  • Will I improve my preventative care plan?   Diet, Exercise, and Routine Checkups?

The short answer is yes to all of the above.

Yes, I want us to have a 2nd child.

Yes, I am going to buck up and get a stress test done which might lead to an elective surgical procedure.

Yes, other medical things will come our way but I am ready to deal with them.

Yes, I will make it part of my resolution to improve my overall diet, health and wellness thus reducing my overall healthcare expense over my life.

 

These questions fundamentally are what drives some of the innovations and methodology of H4 Technology and why I am proud to be a part of this team.

 

 

How H4T Creates an Innovative Workplace Culture

InnovationOn October 14, 2014, I had the pleasure of attending a retirement party for a former manager.  At this party were the members of the first (and best) team I have ever been a part of.  They were developers, project managers, managers, and business analysts, and not only were we very successful, but we had a lot of fun doing it.  It was great to see everyone, reminisce, and remember.  It also turned out to be very timely, as soon I would be putting a new team together, and needed a little reminding of the dynamics that create success.

6 days later, on October 20th, a very exciting journey started.  You will hear more about that later this week, but the fun part is we get to put together a team of 7 – 12 people to build a product that we will own.  Not only can we build this team from scratch, but we can create a working environment that fosters innovation and growth without the restraints of “we have always done it that way”.

I have been asked many times “How do you manage a virtual workforce”.  My answer is simple.  I don’t.  I can give you some story about conducting long interview sessions and finding the “Right Fit”.  But honestly it is much simpler than that.

  • Everyone here wants to succeed.
  • Everyone here wants to challenge themselves.
  • Everyone here has focus on their tasks at hand.
  • Everyone here has a voice and input to what we are doing and where we are going.
  • Everyone here wants to support a team, and be supported by one.

The key is creating a working environment that fosters innovation while working together.  Team members should be rewarded for their innovative ideas, and those innovative ideas should be on the front burner, not the back.

  • That is why we have dedicated time set aside for collaboration of ideas.
  • That is why we trust our employees from day 1 and give them the independence plus the support and resources to achieve their goals.
  • That is why let our employees spend 90% of their time doing what they are good at instead of wasting time in non-relevant meetings or doing paperwork.
  • That is why we offer flexibility for a positive work/life balance.

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an organization that fosters growth, creates new technical jobs, and develops innovative products right here in the entrepreneurial Omaha start up community.  It is an important responsibility and we are going to have a lot of fun doing it.

Our team at H4 has grown to 5 in just four short weeks.  Craig and his wife just celebrated their 3 year-old daughter’s birthday.  Dave has 4 girls in high school.  Steve is a wood-worker, and Alex has double duty with a new born at home and getting his MBA at Creighton.   I could also give you their resumes, but the thing I noticed on October 14th was that we were a good team not because of our resumes or how much money we could make, but because we cared about the entire work-life balance, not just the work part.  Everyone who will be part of H4 Technology will be taking a risk, but the reward will be great, and only part of the reward is salary.

As H4 moves into a new paradigm, we are hiring, and hiring a lot.  We will expect people to work hard, and have fun.  Challenge themselves, and challenge each other.  Put in the hours at work, but also put them in at home.  If this sounds appealing, we would like to hear from you.

We wish you all a great Christmas season.  Check back often for more updates.

 

Chris Henkenius

President, H4 Technology

 

P.S.  OK, here is the cherry on top.  At H4 Technology, we offer:

  • Premium Salary
  • Health/Dental/Vision/Life/Disability Insurance
  • Stock Options
  • Commission Plans for everyone
  • Two-by-four furniture
  • Fabric-less Cubicles
  • Flexibilty for a proper work/life balance
  • Casual Work Attire
  • Fun Company Environment / Outings
  • Training
  • Unlimited Vacation

And so much more…come be a part of something truly great!

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