As healthcare organizations continue to pursue their digital transformations, IT teams may find themselves barraged with requests for the next shiny object or must-have platform from teams across their organization. Managing the volume and complexity of potential solutions can impede results. That’s why HIMSS Analytics created complementary maturity models to help organizations assess where they are and what they need to do to achieve their strategic goals for analytics, continuity of care, EHRs, and infrastructure. The foundational model, INFRAM (Infrastructure Adoption Model) lets healthcare providers measure the stability and readiness of their technology base, which is the foundation for digital solutions that drive effective, efficient clinician and patient experiences.
As the number one consultancy globally performing INFRAM assessments, Pixel Health created a proprietary methodology, INFRAM+™. In partnership with healthcare delivery organizations, we assess infrastructure capability, resiliency, and manageability in the areas of security, data center and cloud, mobility, collaboration, unified communications, and network. Our methodology synthesizes infrastructure improvements with digital end-user strategies to improve outcomes for patients, families, and staff. In addition to empowering IT professionals to be a part of the care team, INFRAM+™ brings clinicians and executive leadership into the IT decision making process, providing them with critical understanding of the technology that supports care delivery and business workflows.
What adds the “plus” to INFRAM+ is how our clinical, IT and strategy experts work shoulder-to-shoulder with each organization to foster collaboration, leading to an aligned, correlated, prioritized strategic roadmap. For example, a large health system client used the INFRAM+ analysis to give weight to their successful business case to secure a $50M capital investment in foundational – but often deprioritized – infrastructure to replace the dated voice and collaboration environment, make critical network upgrades, and broadly enhance security. Working in partnership with Pixel Health, there are three steps organizations can pursue using INFRAM+ to establish a strategic roadmap as well as the pragmatic actions needed to achieve it:
1. Know your current state
To make the best decisions going forward, healthcare leaders need to understand exactly where they are now – an objective, unvarnished picture of all aspects of organizational infrastructure is critical. For example, what underlying, root-cause infrastructure challenges are affecting the workflows staff and clinicians find most frustrating; how is technology used to improve processes; has technical debt has crept into the infrastructure over the years? A thorough review of all elements of the supporting infrastructure helps guide decisions that will provide the most value to the organization going forward.
2. Investigate key infrastructure and digital adoption factors that affect staff and patient experiences
Understanding the current and desired experiences of clinicians and patients informs digital strategies. Further, knowing how to deliver services when and where consumers/patients want to consume them is essential. Clinical teams can provide insight about who delivers the best experiences and in what modality; what experiential changes would have the biggest impact on patients and caregivers; and what would contribute most to managing burnout while adopting new technology. That insight is critical to informing rollout and engagement plans.
3. Understand how technology can enable day-to-day clinician and staff workflow
Ultimately, technology can be successful only if it integrates well into the way people work. From phone systems to EHRs to clinical apps to bedside monitors to remote care – all these technologies must support the workflows of clinical and non-clinical staff. It’s important to understand the tools in use, how they are integrated into current workflows and what staff envision as the optimal workflows to support them, as well as patients and families. Candid conversations with clinicians elicit a better understanding of how to help them create and adopt better, more efficient ways of working.
There’s a saying in the healthcare industry about new technology: “No one wants to be first, and absolutely no one wants to be last.” In today’s environment, healthcare organizations are inundated with all the possibilities technology promises. It’s overwhelming. Establishing a strategic roadmap – grounded firmly on where an organization is now and where it wants to go, step-by-step, is critical to success. Working with a partner with deep clinical, IT and strategy expertise, healthcare delivery organizations can build internal alignment that correlates to the objective INFRAM assessment metrics. The result: a practical, prioritized, strategic roadmap for innovation and growth.