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HIMSS Analytics Establishes New Infrastructure Adoption Model

HIMSS Analytics INFRAM framework allows healthcare organizations to establish an infrastructure stable enough to support advancing technology.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- HIMSS Analytics announced its new infrastructure adoption model, INFRAM, to measure the technical infrastructure used in health systems.

This framework will help organizations identify benchmarks it needs to reach before going live with their EHRs. Organizations need to make sure that their infrastructure is stable and manageable before they launch digital tools.

INFRAM has an eight-stage adoption model for infrastructure maturity and adoption.

Source: HIMSS Analytics

These eight stages highlight different steps organizations from the most basic to complex. Stage 0 highlights the foundations of infrastructure technology such as VPN connectivity, data center and compute architecture, and security policy. These features are necessary for every IT infrastructure deployment and are needed to advance infrastructure technology.

On the other end of the spectrum, Stage 7 focuses on network control with software-defined networking and telemonitoring. Not every healthcare organization has these technologies, but a flexible and scalable network will help organizations expand their digital footprint.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas:

  • Mobility
  • Security
  • Collaboration
  • Transport
  • Data Center

“The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our Maturity Model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” said Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

The increase of mobile technology in particular has increased the need for a solid infrastructure foundation.

A previous HIMSS Analytics study found that the continued growth in popularity of mobile devices for both clinicians and patients calls for continued health IT infrastructure innovation to improve the quality of care and workflow efficiencies.

“Healthcare organizations saw an unprecedented number of attacks on their networks in 2016 with little to suggest these attacks would diminish in 2017,” report authors explained. “Improvements in mobile device security should be developed in lock step with other areas across the healthcare IT spectrum to stimulate adoption and provide clinicians the necessary tools to improve the quality of care delivered.”

Cisco is INFRAM’s first certified consultant and had a hand in developing the framework. Other certified consultants include BlackBerry, Cognizant, and Vertitech.

Healthcare organizations must have the infrastructure to support advancing technologies. By following this framework, organizations can be sure that their infrastructure can support technology as it evolves.

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