INFRAM: A Pathway to Infrastructure Maturity

HIMSS Analytics

The HIMSS Analytics Maturity Models, including the EMRAM, the AMAM and the CCMM, have become the worldwide standard for measuring a healthcare organization's dedication to improving healthcare processes and outcomes through advancements in technology. Healthcare organizations everywhere have turned to these models for guidance as they increase their information and technology capabilities. That's why we're excited about our work on a brand new Maturity Model: the Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM).

INFRAM: Infrastructure Benchmarks to Drive Innovation

Similar to the EMRAM, the INFRAM measures the technical infrastructure setup in a health system. By identifying benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems, the INFRAM ensures that the infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. There are five subdomains within the new model, including:

  1. Security
  2. Collaboration
  3. Wireless
  4. Data Center
  5. Transport

The new model gives healthcare organizations a clear view of where they stand in terms of infrastructure architecture, provides a clear roadmap for increasing maturity, and ensures successful EMR adoption and other technical implementations. Like the EMRAM, the INFRAM can be used globally to improve patient safety, reduce operational costs and ensure better health for populations.

Why is the INFRAM Important?

Organizations all over the world have invested in new EMR systems and other technology to try to improve the efficiency of organizational operations, the quality of patient care, and the security and access of sensitive patient data. However, these gains are significantly muted when organizations neglect to update their aging infrastructure. Too often, we see organizations implement a complex new clinical application, only for it to glitch under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support it. This leads to nightmare implementations, frustrated clinicians and greater inefficiencies.

If your organization is planning to spend millions and millions of dollars on a new EMR system, do you really want to go live with outdated infrastructure that will crumble under the new requirements? Probably not.

The INFRAM serves to address these issues to support EMRAM validations and drive further innovation within health systems. Using the INFRAM, healthcare leaders can benchmark their technology investments against those of their peers to justify the budget they need to spend in order to reach a stable, secure and efficient technology environment. Basic technologies, such as a secure, powerful network, will ensure the success of other technology implementations. Though updating the infrastructure is an added investment upfront, it will ultimately help organizations save money in the long run and truly realize the benefits of their technology advancements.

Additionally, vendors will want to see an organization meet these new standards for software security and integrity of technology environments before they begin hosting their solutions, as they don't want their reputations to suffer when their solutions fail under poor infrastructure.

Is Your HIT Infrastructure Up to Par?

Ultimately, the INFRAM will be critical for organizations to meet their clinical and operational goals, as well as industry benchmarks and regulation. If you understand the value of the EMRAM and are already working to achieve a more sophisticated technology environment for better patient care, then it shouldn't be a far jump to understand how the INFRAM is a natural addition to the existing HIMSS Analytics Maturity Models.

Providing modern, cutting-edge care requires modern technology and advanced capabilities. As healthcare organizations everywhere work to enhance patient satisfaction, reduce risks and leverage data for better, more productive clinical care, the new INFRAM will need to be at the forefront of their strategy.

HIMSS Analytics INFRAM - Today's strategic plan for tomorrow's healthcare delivery