Samsung Medical Center in South Korea (SMC) has become the first healthcare provider in the world to reach the highest stage for the HIMSS Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM).
The eight-stage INFRAM measures the maturity of a healthcare facility's IT infrastructure across five areas: mobility, security, collaboration, transport and data centre.
SMC has been working on its IT system for years to realise its vision of becoming an "advanced intelligent hospital." It has pioneered in South Korea the digitisation of medical records and the development of mobile apps for doctors, among other health IT initiatives. SMC Chairman Dr Park Seung-woo stressed that offering such innovative IT services requires the support of an underlying IT infrastructure.
"Achieving the highest levels of maturity in the INFRAM is a recognition of the significant investment SMC has undertaken over many years,” said Andrew Pearce, Vice President, Analytics, and Global Advisory Lead at HIMSS. “SMC's focus has been on providing a foundational platform that enables the widespread adoption of information technologies that engage all stakeholders across the organisation."
Pearce noted examples of the hospital's technology adoption, including its use of smart logistics robots, as well as AI to predict the occurrence of falls and to recommend treatments for emergency patients. SMC recently initiated a mobile hospitalisation process to raise customer and service satisfaction.
According to Dr Randy Bradley, Co-Founder and CIO of Q-Lead Health and technical assessor during the Stage 7 INFRAM validation, SMC excelled in the wireless and mobility category. While many organisations talk about the future of work or the changing nature of work, he said SMC "did more than talk about it."
"SMC conceptualised it by listening to their key stakeholders and they were purposeful and intentional with their selection and implementation of infrastructural components that enable clinical and non-clinical personnel to perform to the best of their ability in an efficient manner," he said.
Dr Bradley pointed out that "SMC clearly understands the importance of mapping the patient journey and putting valuable solutions in place to ensure a seamless and enjoyable patient and caregiver experience."
"I'm confident this foundation will enable SMC to be nimble and agile as it strives to be the frontier of the future medicine," he said.
SMC's Stage 7 validation comes five months after it achieved Stage 6 certification. The other healthcare provider in the Asia-Pacific region that has reached Stage 6 INFRAM is Tu Ora Compass Health in New Zealand.
In 2019, the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, became the first hospital in the world to undergo the INFRAM assessment, where it was validated for Stage 6.
Hal Wolf, HIMSS President & CEO, said “SMC has achieved the first Stage 7 INFRAM validation in the global health ecosystem. SMC is leading not only South Korea, but the world in modernising digital health infrastructure and paving the way for further digital maturity and advancement. I am sure that the Asia-Pacific region takes great pride in this certification. Congratulations to SMC on this historic accomplishment.”
Simon Lin, Vice President and Executive Director for Asia-Pacific, HIMSS, said "South Korea has yet again proven to be one of the most technologically advanced and progressive health systems in the world with SMC becoming the very first in the world to be awarded INFRAM Stage 7. I'm incredibly excited to witness this exemplar achievement and am looking forward to working with SMC and the rest of the region to continue achieving greater heights."
"Initially, we decided to challenge for the INFRAM Stage 7 certification from HIMSS because we wanted to get a check and find out points to improve in order to realise a high-tech intelligent hospital,” SMC Chairman Dr Park said. “However, we are very pleased to receive a good evaluation from HIMSS. We will continue to achieve medical innovation to provide the best, global-level medical service to patients by actively utilising world-class IT infrastructure."
The HIMSS Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM) helps healthcare leaders assess and map healthcare infrastructure and the associated technology capabilities required to reach their facility’s infrastructure goals while meeting international benchmarks and standards set by this maturity model.