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Using an INFRAM Assessment to Create IT Maturity Models that Put Patient Care First

With healthcare organizations under statutory requirements to digitize their client records while protecting their data, IT companies are regularly called in to improve healthcare technology infrastructure, which often starts with assessments to help organizations identify areas for improvement.

However, in many situations, when one issue is solved, another problem occurs due to the interconnected nature of healthcare IT systems. Another option you might consider is performing an INFRAM assessment, which takes a holistic look at your entire digital environment, so you can better understand the areas that need improvement and how to translate the necessary improvements into superior patient care.

Let’s work through several scenarios covering five specific areas reviewed and assessed using an INFRAM assessment so you can see the possibilities this type of assessment opens up for improving patient care and your healthcare organization.

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5 IT Areas an INFRAM Assessment Reviews

1. Mobility

When COVID-19 became an issue in 2020, wireless infrastructures that support telehealth programs became paramount to treating patients. Constant care is needed and discussions between hospital staff are taking place all hours of the day and night.

Imagine a nurse is waiting on a call back from a specialist, finally gets it via video chat, but the wireless signal goes dead. Providing a solid wireless signal to all corners of the health system for nurses and physicians to stay reliably connected on their handheld devices is more important now than ever. An independent INFRAM assessment can help healthcare organizations analyze their wireless platform and determine if their current monitoring and management tools are working to ensure reliable connections. It doesn’t matter if you have state-of-the-art EHR if your clinicians can’t stay connected to the network.

2. Security

One study reported an estimated 30% of all large data breaches come from hospitals, while ransomware attacks have cost healthcare organizations around $160 million over the past four years. That’s because patient records are valuable to cyber criminals, surpassing even credit card numbers which can be rapidly deactivated when fraud is suspected. Every week, new hospitals are targeted for ransomware often causing delays in providing diagnostic results, and therefore efficient patient care. It’s common for organizations to get caught up in everything else they need to do and push security to the back burner, but now more than ever, healthcare must tackle security vulnerabilities.

An INFRAM assessment allows you to compare your system’s cybersecurity against national standards, showing where you may be lacking and how security improvements could actually save money in the long run.

3. Collaboration

Your phone system is often the digital front door for your patients, no one wants to be left on hold or sent around from department to department until they finally get what they need. INFRAM can help you assess your communication channels and help you find better ways for patients to get through the call center labyrinth more effectively.

Additionally, newer technology can also enable patients to connect their cell phone into your system for wayfinding and updates on the status of their current appointment. With COVID measures in place, many healthcare organizations are asking patients to wait in their vehicle until they are called to reduce exposure in crowded waiting rooms. Giving patients the ability to interact in real time and get to their location efficiently provides a better experience and keeps everyone safe.

4. Data Center Solutions

Your data center is the heart of your patient care. You need to be able to access patient records, during an outage, in the midst of a pandemic or when your organization is in the clutches of a ransomware attack. An INFRAM assessment can help assess your overall data center redundancy and capacity.

Data is your life blood in healthcare and an INFRAM assessment looks at how multiple data center locations can provide backup and recovery capabilities to keep the organization running even if one suite is down due to natural disaster or planned maintenance. The data center may not be something your patient sees, but this technology can help other more exciting innovations happen in patient care.

5. Transport

Access to data when and where you need it is very important in the emergency department. Take a stroke patient for example, they come into the emergency room and naturally an ACT scan is done to assess the issue. Is it a blocked vessel or a bleed? The patient care team has about 90 minutes to decide if they should open up the blockage or give clot busting drugs. Your infrastructure connection therefor must be able to send CT studies—a.k.a. huge files—through the health system network, often outside your four walls to a specialist that will make this critical decision.

Additionally, you may need another telemedicine visit between the specialist (outside the emergency department) and the patient in the emergency bed. Networks must be able to prioritize this traffic and have sufficient bandwidth to move the CT study through to the specialist while also being able to handle the video visit to the stroke patient. If you don’t know whether your system has what it takes to keep this information flowing to where it’s needed most, you may encounter unnecessary roadblocks to enabling patient care.

An INFRAM assessment will help your healthcare organization determine whether your current network transport is up to snuff or may need help to become the lifesaving technology that it can be.

Upgrade Your Healthcare IT Infrastructure with an INFRAM Assessment

Even though you’re involved in a lucrative industry focused on patient care, as an IT department, your spending may be limited, making it difficult to determine which solutions will have the biggest impact on improving patient care.

How can you determine whether a promising solution will deliver strong results or poor outcomes?

An INFRAM assessment can help you build a roadmap for the future. It’s hard to determine where to act to make the biggest difference in patient care and ROI but Comport’s independent INFRAM assessment can help.

We understand how technology can further innovation in healthcare and have helped countless organizations resolve IT roadblocks over more than 30 years in technology solutions.

Get started with your healthcare IT upgrade by requesting a no-obligation, complimentary INFRAM Assessment from Comport. Email Geoff Bakeman, VP Healthcare, Comport Healthcare Solutions to get started.  Geoff.bakeman@comport.com

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