Meet the newest HIMSS Analytics adoption model: INFRAM

The Infrastructure Adoption Model helps hospitals and health systems benchmark how their IT systems stack up with mobility, security, collaboration, transport and data warehousing.
By Mike Miliard
11:41 AM
HIMSS Analytics INFRAM infrastructure

HIMSS Analytics has launched a new maturity model to help healthcare organizations measure how their technology deployments compare with their peers. The new Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, aims to assess health systems' IT network across five subdomains.

INFRAM is meant to help provider organizations ensure they have optimal tech in place to help improve care delivery, mitigate risks to cyber security and network infrastructure and ensure their IT is deployed to maximize good business and clinical outcomes, officials said.

Specifically, INFRAM focuses on five technical areas: mobility, security, collaboration, transport and data center.

The eight-stage model enables IT decision-makers to make sure their infrastructure is "stable, manageable and extensible," according to HIMSS Analytics. The top rung, Stage 7, culminates "optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes."

The eight stages are:

  • Stage 7: Adaptive and flexible network control with software defined networking; home-based tele-monitoring; internet/TV on demand
  • Stage 6: Software defined network automated validation of experience; on-premise enterprise/hybrid cloud application and infrastructure automation
  • Stage 5: Video on mobile devices; location-based messaging; firewall with advanced malware protection; real-time scanning of hyperlinks in email messages
  • Stage 4: Multiparty video capabilities; wireless coverage throughout most premises; active/active high availability; remote access VPN
  • Stage 3: Advanced intrusion prevention system; rack/tower/blade server-based compute architecture; end-to-end QoS; defined public and private cloud strategy
  • Stage 2: Intrusion detection/prevention; informal security policy; disparate systems centrally managed by multiple network management systems
  • Stage 1: Static network configurations; fixed switch platform; active/standby failover; LWAP-only single wireless controller; ad-hoc local storage networking; no data center automation
  • Stage 0: No VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture

Since the launch of the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, HIMSS Analytics maturity models – including the Continuity of Care Maturity Model, the International Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity and others – have become useful benchmarks against which hospitals and healthcare organizations can measure how well they're leveraging technology for clinical and operational efficiencies.

At the HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum in Boston this week, for instance, Jason Burke, chief analytics officer at UNC Health Care, explained how both the EMRAM and the AMAM were useful in boosting UNC's analytics prowess.

"All those years of working with HIMSS" – UNC attained Stage 7 on the EMRAM earlier this year – "had already helped develop a set of core infrastructure capabilities that put us well on the way with this," said Burke. "We weren't starting from scratch. We already had a tremendous amount of energy and momentum and real capabilities that had already been achieved."

"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, in a statemnt.

"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," he added. "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."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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