Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Healthcare IT Infrastructure

The Maslow Hierarchy of Needs describes a series of universal needs as motivators for human behaviors. From a patient experience perspective that would include things like, easy access to healthcare services, and a focus on staying patient-centered.

However, nowadays healthcare delivery-of-care is hugely dependant on digital systems such as Electronic Medical Records and Picture Archiving Systems. Keeping these life-critical systems running 24/7 is a monumental task for Healthcare IT. Moreover, data security management to Patient Health Information (PHI) is likely the most critical competency that Healthcare IT needs to assimilate nowadays.

From a systems and infrastructure standpoint the Maslow Hierarchy for Healthcare IT equates to the following:



Step 0 – Data Security

Protecting Protected Health Information (PHI) when data is at-rest has become a top priority for healthcare organizations. However, despite growing awareness, encryption of data in-flight is consistently overlooked. In most healthcare IT systems we only see data-at-rest encryption, and the only attack vector that addresses is ‘physical’ access to drives, which also happens to be the lowest stated aspect of HIPAA.

Nowadays data-in-flight is most vulnerable to perpetrators that can tap into the network connections given the widespread use of IP network protocols; security measures for data in storage come to nothing if in-flight data is not safeguarded as well.

Datrium’s Blanket encryption is an industry-first, providing end-to-end encryption with always-on full data services, such as compression, deduplication, and erasure coding.

Moreover, Datrium is the only converged platform with FIPS 140-2 validation from the Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Press Release (here)


Step 1 – System Resiliency

System Resiliency is the ability to maintain systems running even in the event of a fault. Infrastructure resiliency comes in two flavors: data integrity and data durability.

Datrium takes data integrity very seriously and has worked hard to build a system that delivers the highest levels of data integrity and durability.

It starts with Double Fault Tolerance Erasure Coding designed to protect against two simultaneous disk failures but also covers in-line integrity verification and self-healing.

A traditional array can only protect the integrity of data it receives (dutifully safeguard data that may have been corrupted by intervening network or host-side problems). Datrium DVX protects your data ‘before’ storing it locally or sending it over the network.


Step 2 – Data Management

Healthcare systems supporting clinical applications need primary storage performance, but also a separate cost-efficient backup strategy that can quickly restore applications without the delays of traditional backup tools.

Datrium DVX offers primary storage performance (Step 3), but the system is similarly designed to provide integrated copy-data management, including application-centric snapshot and replication features which allow and entire application suite to be restarted “instantly” with a single click.

When snapshots are stored within the primary storage system, no restore from a secondary platform is required before an application can be restarted from a point in time before the corruption or data loss. And in the event of a site failure, the replica DVX can bring applications back online without waiting for restore operations to complete. A pair of DVX systems can handle data protection, snapshots and disaster recovery for multiple locations allowing for fast and efficient recovery.

For healthcare providers, the entire data lifecycle must be protected. DVX natively encrypts all data in-transit to remote sites or to the public cloud using SSL/TLS eliminating the need for costly VPN services.


Step 3 – Performance

For life-critical systems such as Electronic Health and Electronic Medical Records (EHR/EMRs), application performance and response times are essential to keep the delivery of care smooth, as it should be.

In partnership with Dell and, Datrium DVX has been officially validated as the fastest and most scalable converged platform in the world. Datrium delivers 5X more performance than the previous All-Flash record and 10x more performance than the previous hyperconverged record. Datrium DVX also has the lowest latency across all audited platforms!

As an example, the National Physician Services provides ambulatory service with Allscripts TouchWorks, where 1.1 million appointments are scheduled and managed every year – amounting to approximately 110,000 transactions per day. The system moreover services six AHS entities and accounts for over 1,000 physicians, while the Datrium infrastructure powers a half-billion dollars of financial transactions each year.


Step 4 – Applications

Finally, the clinical applications themselves. Recognizing that healthcare applications are effectively responsible for fast-tracking or potentially delaying the delivery of care, they are the most valuable piece of the puzzle.

Most ISVs make an enormous effort to ensure application are always-on, but that also makes them strict and cautious about infrastructure and systems supporting their databases and other parts of the application stack.

It is vital that Health IT infrastructures supporting clinical applications can efficiently deliver on application requirements.



This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at