HIMSS24: A Newly Modernized Infrastructure Adoption Model for Healthcare

On the carbon impact side, we are starting to collect data so that we have a better understanding of where healthcare is. We’re going way beyond just the carbon impact of IT, not just power consumption and the recycling of retired technologies, but other areas such as lighting, environmental controls in the building, the building management system itself, recycling of plastics that are used, so that we can have a good measure, we can compare and help organizations understand where they are on their curve toward being carbon neutral.

HEALTHTECH: Healthcare organizations may be intimidated to hear that few health systems in the world attain INFRAM Stage 7 so far. What advice do you have for organizations that may feel overwhelmed to start an assessment?

BRADLEY: We want our models to be aspirational but achievable. Maybe the previous version was a bit too aspirational because it was so technically focused. If you didn’t do it the technical way, it was challenging to get to Stage 6 and 7. Our recommendation now is not to let that intimidate you, look at the survey, get started and create a baseline for yourself. Stage 7 is the highest level that a health system can achieve, but understanding where you are today and working to get to the highest level with a roadmap to get you there is the value.

We aren’t an organization that would give you a survey and then say, “Sorry, you didn’t make it.” We work with organizations to help them understand the next steps. If you’re at Stage 4, how do you get to Stage 5? What does it take to get to Stage 6? It’s a progression. It may take organizations years to go from where they are to where they want to be as we work with them.

It’s not that daunting of a survey. It takes a few hours to complete, and we really encourage organizations to get the right people around the table so you end up with a meaningful survey. We really want it to be mindful so that it can be a useful tool for leadership to say, “This is where our investments need to go next.”

EXPLORE: Navigate the balancing act of tight budgets and healthcare innovation.

HEALTHTECH: Where would you say most U.S. health systems are in their assessments? What are some common questions you’ve received from leaders who are early in their maturity journey?

BRADLEY: The U.S. healthcare market is doing well in two of the focus areas: cybersecurity and IT management and performance, which means that they manage their IT infrastructure fairly well. They have good change management processes; they’re not letting their infrastructure get too outdated or out of maintenance.

Where they’re struggling is in the adoption and outcomes focus areas. Adoption is where we want to be able to assess how well the technology that we’re putting out is actually being used. They’re not doing that badly, but they’re not achieving Stage 7 mostly because they don’t have a proactive way of gaining insights into adoption. They’re still reliant on help desk surveys: You open a ticket, you close it, we send you a survey. That’s just not good enough. It needs to be more real time. You see things today where you just give a thumbs up, thumbs down, smiley face or frowny face to rate the interaction. Was the online scheduling experience easy to do? Something quick and easy to share feedback. That’s the aspirational part of the model.

And the area that they’re struggling the most with is outcomes. How do we tie technology investments to outcomes? You can’t do it by saying, “We’re going to upgrade our Wi-Fi because of these technical improvements.” It has to be associated with a business objective. “We’re upgrading Wi-Fi because we want to do these things,” and successes are measured by performance indicators, whether it’s improving the scanning of specimens collected at bedside or whatever it might be. What are the process improvements that we expect, and are they defined up front? Do we define them over time as the project wraps up and matures? What we see in U.S. is they do the first part of that really well; they define, but then they don’t go back and assess. They usually close that project and move on to the next one. We’re encouraging them to step back and say, “Here are the performance improvements that you saw in those investments,” so that the rest of the executive leadership team understands why.

Keep this page bookmarked for our ongoing coverage of HIMSS24. Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @HealthTechMag and join the conversation at #HIMSS24.

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