May 22 2019

What Is the HIMSS Infrastructure Adoption Model and Why Should You Care?

Meeting lofty technology innovation goals requires a robust foundation.

Last fall, HIMSS Analytics announced the launch of a new maturity model designed to assess the IT foundational readiness of healthcare organizations. The effort — dubbed the Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM) — enables providers to measure the stability of their technology base, which is particularly important as more and more organizations turn to digital solutions to innovate the clinician and patient experiences.

The model reviews five areas of an organization’s infrastructure: collaboration, data center, mobility, security and data transport. It is complementary to HIMSS Analytics’ other maturity models — the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), the Analytics Maturity Adoption Model and the Continuity of Care Maturity Model — all of which help to ensure organizations are on the right track when it comes to EHR deployment, leveraging the growing pool of analytics resources and coordinating care across a variety of settings. 

INFRAM stands apart from its sister models, however, because it sets the tone for all of them. Without the proper data center setup, new EHRs won’t be effective. Without the proper mobility infrastructure in place, organizations could struggle to collect data in real time — and without the proper security foundation in place, IT staff and other employees can’t focus their attention where it needs to be: on the patient.


Partnership with Cisco Gets to the Heart of Provider Needs

Cisco, which worked with HIMSS Analytics on development of the model, talked about INFRAM’s potential impact at the annual HIMSS conference in Las Vegas in 2018, saying that it could help to guide organizations beyond the level of healthcare-specific applications.

“We wanted to really create a maturity model or an adoption model that linked the infrastructure to the performance and capability of business and clinical processes,” Barbara Casey, global healthcare and life sciences director for Cisco, told HealthTech at the conference. “The EMRAM really gets to those business and clinical processes, but what we’ve found is, really, working with customers over the years, if they didn’t have the right layers of infrastructure or the right sophistication modernization and the level of a modern network, there were a lot of point solutions that just wouldn’t work.”

Taking it a step further, Casey said that infrastructure investments are not optional to take care innovation to the next level. “IT teams really understand the necessity for this,” she said. “Where we’re trying to raise awareness is with clinicians and business leaders.”

While the holy grail for participating organizations is to achieve Stage 7 status on the model, its true value is in ensuring providers’ technology implementations aren’t derailed by ignored or overlooked elements. Within each of the five primary domains are subdomains that dig into specifics to maximize optimization. For instance, within data transport, Casey pointed out, are the subdomains of campus connectivity, secure remote access, traffic optimization, quality of service and more.

“We help the customer actually plan what their next investments are going to be in order to modernize their network,” she said.

The devil is in the details, but with the proper planning, it doesn’t have to be.

This article is part of HealthTech’s MonITor blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using #WellnessIT.


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