Why Is Information Governance Important
Information governance makes information more accessible to those who need it, which is crucial for any organization. Organizations of all types and sizes often suffer from poor organization and management of information assets, leading to issues with accessibility, ease of use, timeliness and security — all of which governance can positively affect.
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- How long is it useful for?
- What other information depends upon this information?
Answering all of those questions for every information asset within the enterprise is a monumental task. Once an organization collects those the answers, however, a path to managing it becomes increasingly clear.
Frameworks are tailored to the organization’s unique governance needs but should define the following areas:
- Disaster recovery and business continuity . The framework should clearly outline company procedures in the event of a data breach, including how to report information losses and breaches, incident management specifics, DR processes, BC strategies, and auditing of these DR and BC processes.
- Continuous monitoring. The framework should outline plans for quality assurance of information governance processes, including how the company will monitor information access and use, measure regulatory compliance adherence, maintain effective security, conduct risk assessments and periodically review the information governance program as a whole.
Data Governance Best Practices In Healthcare
So far, we have discussed the many unique challenges and opportunities that healthcare organizations face in managing their data. Now let’s consider how leaders can incorporate data governance best practices to protect their patients’ sensitive information while also leveraging that data to improve operations and outcomes.
Good Governance At The Enterprise Level
What does good governance of enterprise information and technology accomplish in the healthcare sector?
- Provides the necessary responsibilities and practices to ensure benefits realization, optimize resources and optimize risks while ensuring an organization is compliant with local laws and regulations and providing value to stakeholders.
- Requires a higher level of documented control and accountability than is needed in many other industries.
- Facilitates a high level of trust by patients and consumers of healthcare products.
EGIT at your doctors office or hospital affects patients and consumers, and those patients should not be complacent about asking questions about the security and privacy protections in place protecting their data. In some cases, patient-initiated questions about security protocols in place can lead to improved measures on the part of the healthcare provider.
Effective information and technology governance can seem dauntingly complex given the regulatory context of the healthcare industry and competing stakeholder goals. Most governance requirements, however, originate with logical and straightforward principles:
The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.
Organizational Governance Resources
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Benefits Of Information Governance Principles For Healthcare
- Minimized risk
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced costs
Our solutions will ensure you maintain confidentiality in health and social care when sharing information. Information governance is the key to maintaining reliable and trusted healthcare data.
Contact us today to learn how we can help implement and automate a secure information governance process for your healthcare organization.
The Importance Of Information Governance In Healthcare Where Should We Start
As more and more health data is being captured be health organizations, health information governance is becoming an extremely important topic. In order to better understand whats happening with health Information Governance, I sat down with Rita Bowen, Senior Vice President of HIM and Privacy Officer at HealthPort, to talk about the topic. We shot these videos as one long video, but then chopped them up into shorter versions so you could more easily watch the ones that interest you most. You can find 3 of the videos below and 2 more over on Hospital EMR and EHR.
The State of Information Governance
Whats HIMs Role in Health Information Governance?
Where Should We Start with Information Governance?
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Information Governance Improves Information Security
You read about data breaches almost every day. With new innovations and technologies on the rise, healthcare organizations must be prepared to manage and protect information about their patients and clients.
Healthcare patient records are particularly at risk because of their value on the black market. Indeed, journalists and security experts debate whether the value of a patient healthcare record is more or less than that of a personal financial record. The former contains critical health histories the latter includes information such as credit history.
But theres no doubt that healthcare providerslike payersshould adopt well crafted information governance policies to help protect patient data. Indeed, when companies have good information management habitswhen they purge unnecessary or duplicative data or store little-used information away from business systemsthey create less surface for the bad guys to attack.
Proper Information Governance Increases Accuracy When Dealing With External Partners
The lifecycle of information often takes data away from the four walls where it was first created. Information may be shared and exchanged with external partners and other healthcare organizations. To preserve the integrity and accuracy of information that is going in and out of the organization, all entities should practice information governance as they handle and exchange data.
A great place to start for healthcare organizations of all sizes and complexities is AHIMAs Information Governance Adoption Model . The model scores and assesses healthcare organizations using 10 information governance competencies. These competencies include key maturity markers that identify critical requirements for a robust information governance program.
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Importance Of Information Management In Healthcare
While the image of a doctor or a surgeon might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the healthcare industry, a surprising amount of work is also going on behind the scenes. In the 21st century, health information and data is asserting itself as the equally important counterpart to the more physical aspects of medicine. It’s still a developing field, but people interested in health and wellness should be aware of the fact that it has already had a significant impact on the healthcare industry and is only gaining momentum as its full usefulness becomes clear.
Build Your Team To Be Self
Once you’ve set up sufficiently strong data governance protocols and have a solid data governance strategy, data governance professionals often work best when allowed to make their own interior processes and design decisions. Allowing your team to self-organize will ensure that they can optimize their processes and do their job as efficiently as possible. Once the connection between the business office’s data priorities and the data governance team’s goals has been established, the team may function best with minimal outside interference and strong internal management. Depending on the size of your organization, you may need a team as small as one or two people, or you may need a larger team. Regardless of size, filling all of the essential data governance roles may save your organization many headaches down the road.
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Why Is Information Governance So Important
The need for information governance is manifold. As digital storage and sharing, including social media use, grow more prevalent, so does the risk of security breaches. Proper information governance ensures healthcare information is handled with the utmost responsibility and confidentiality, protecting patients and healthcare facilities alike.
Digital data storage also provides an opportunity for HIT professionals to analyze the information they work with, ensuring no stone is left unturned when it comes to protecting costs and increasing patient well-being. One AIIM study found that legal costs, fines and damages could be reduced by 25 percent if organizations applied information governance best practice procedures.
Ultimately, an information governance program adds to the overall credibility of a healthcare organization because it displays their pursuit of continued growth as a business and source of patient care.
According to AHIMA: Adopting an information governance program shows a healthcare organizations commitment to managing its information as a valued strategic asset. Information governance serves the dual purpose of optimizing the ability to extract clinical and business value from healthcare information while simultaneously meeting compliance needs and mitigating risk.
Identifying The Right Governance Framework
IT plays a critical role in healthcare provision, and this role will only increase over time. Therefore, once you understand the answer to the question, “Why is information governance important in healthcare?” identifying the right healthcare IT governance framework should be next on your to-do list.
Before making the decision, what do you need to consider? At a high level, healthcare IT governance frameworks should likely include penetration testing, security programming, remote working security and cyber security, but some healthcare providers may not provide all of those aspects necessary to implementing a strong framework.
Before getting started, remember that your IT initiatives, processes and investments should align with your organization’s strategic plan and goals to benefit staff and patients alike. It’s important to strike a balance.
Your frameworks need to be strong and robust, but too much bureaucracy may have a negative effect. Similarly, your processes may need to change and evolve, so your framework should be flexible and allow for evaluation and ongoing adjustments. Agility should be at the heart of your framework. Your leadership team has a critical role to play: Those in charge of the IT governance framework need to understand the process, strategies and desired outcomes but must also be able to work closely with the executive team to implement the framework at all levels.
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Governance Is: Admin & Clinicians In Sync
The C-suite healthcare governance team typically includes the hospital/healthcare system CEO and the chiefs in roles including information, human resources, quality/safety/performance improvement, finance, development, and integrationamong others.
But theres another group of leaders responsible for healthcare governance. The executives responsible for guiding healthcare governance among all providers typically include:
- Chief medical officer or vice president of medical affairs
- Chief nursing officer
- Committee chairs
These leaders have cross-functional roles. Not only are they responsible for guiding their teams to deliver patient care that adheres to regulations, accreditation standards, policies, and proceduresbut increasingly they have a seat at the table in assisting the C-Suite in running the hospital. Healthcare reform success, in fact, will depend on their front-line experience.
Also providing input for crucial governance discussionsfrontline nurses and doctors, in addition to their colleagues in operational roles such as billing, payroll, and scheduling. Including clinicians and staff members perspectives is essential today. The daily experience of these team members gives valuable insight and perspective perhaps not seen from the administrative office. These team members contribute to healthcare governance by helping to craft and fine-tune policies and procedures essential to organizational success.
What Is Tracked And Why
The idea of collecting health information is not new, but it is changing in the face of new technology. In the days before computers became prevalent, paper documents were used for record keeping in institutions that have yet to fully convert to the digital model, this is still how it’s done. New digital records are easier to add to and take up no physical space, though, so doctors are becoming able to add more and more critical pieces of information to each patient’s record. Currently, many aspects of physical and mental health can be part of a person’s health record, including:
- History of significant viral and bacterial illnesses
- Vaccination information
- Diagnosed allergies and other conditions
- Current and past medication and treatment history
- Significant improvements or setbacks during a current hospital stay
All of these pieces of information are critical to the day-to-day care of the millions of patients served by the health care system. Storing all of this knowledge as digital data makes it easy to organize and access, and thus more useful to healthcare professionals serving many patients simultaneously. It also allows patients to experience a continuity of care between the many professionals working on their case, reduces the risk of hand-off errors, and provides a more robust patient profile for diagnostic purposes.
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Discover Where Your Phi Lives
Categorize and classify your file system to discover where the PHI lives. Its impossible to govern what you dont know about. Gather folder and file permissions for your all of your data storage. Search every file for PHI and tag those files as sensitive.
Correlate all of that data your permission structures and classified sensitive data and build a comprehensive risk profile. You will use this risk profile to continue the data governance process.
Principles Of Information Governance
We are currently in the process of updating this chapter and we appreciate your patience whilst this is being completed.
This section provides an introduction to Information Governance, the general principles for data protection, and some practical issues to consider when using data for public health purposes.
Information Governance – What is it?
Information governance is the way in which health and health care information, in particular the personal and sensitive information relating to people , is handled. It aims to balance facility of use with security of health information.
Why is it important?
Previous sections of health knowledge have highlighted the importance of information and intelligence, and how it can be used to improve health and healthcare services for the ultimate benefit of patients and the wider public.
Information systems that identify and track individuals are particularly useful for detailed analysis and research. However such systems can often directly or indirectly identify individuals and as such need to be handled with care. The public rightly expects any health data held on them to be handled properly and sensitively. As a result there is now a range of legal and other requirements around the use of health and other personal data which those who handle the data should be aware of.
General Principles for data protection
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Remove Low Quality Unused Or Stale Data
In healthcare especially, data integrity is incredibly important. Low quality, unused, or stale data can negatively impact research by skewing findings. From a physicians perspective, bad data can lead to care issues. For example, outdated patient prescription information can impact a doctors diagnosis and treatment plan. Keeping data fresh helps to achieve both care and operational goals.
What Are Some Information And Data Governance Challenges
Data and information are the lifeblood of modern business. But the sheer amount and variety of them in need of information governance and data management? Those are growing at an exponential rate. Its become a Herculean task for business. Just a couple of the complexities they must deal with?
Coping with the Three Vs:
More companies are reliant on Big Data, which is defined by three key vectors volume, variety, and velocity. All of these are growing rapidly, and mismanaging them can have serious consequences.
As early as 2015, UK-based fraud prevention company Semafone an OnePoll revealed that the overwhelming majority of consumers would not do business with a company that had been breached, especially if it had failed to protect its customers financial data, such as credit card numbers.
- Over 86% percent of respondents were not at all likely or not very likely to do business with an enterprise suffering a data breach involving credit or debit card data.
Today, more employees, stakeholders, and customers in more locations than ever may want or require access to your files and data. Especially if youre a large or global enterprise. Many of them are now working remotely, on a variety of devices, so a company must both ensure access and maintain data security:
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Patient Experiences Also Improve
Theres also the patient/customer service angle to consider. Good information management enables coordinated care between medical specialties. Why fill out the same form as the patient travels from a family practice to a specialist and then to outpatient therapy? An ideal solution would be to use one general, universal medical, drugs and insurance form.
Mature information governenance programs have standardized processes, integrated systems, and the means to provide better outcomes. Healthcare communities need to implement strategies to share and exchange patient information with each other, on an as needed basis, to avoid duplicative efforts and enable a more coordinated healthcare environment for patients to receive care.
Data Governance In Healthcare: Why Is Information Governance Important In Healthcare
Given the current data-driven environment in healthcare and the strict compliance regulations and requirements, digitizing processes and data collection seems like an obvious solution for efficiency, cost and time-saving. In fact, for some time, healthcare providers have been transitioning from paper-based records and processes to digital ones to the point where they’re now business-critical. Of course digitizing and storing healthcare records can present its own set of challenges, but this is why information governance is important in healthcare.
Governance is about providing control and oversight into your systems and aligning them with the requirements and outcomes of your organization. Therefore, it’s important to clearly set out and govern how to collect and organize data in IT systems to maintain order, trust and transparency, and be able to derive the necessary insights quickly and with confidence.
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Use A Hierarchical Strategy To Determine How Data Is Distributed And Who Can See What
It can be useful to use a pyramid to visualize the descending levels of data privacy and security. At the bottom of the pyramid, there is usually the entirety of the company’s data warehouse, which all data stewards and data employees may easily access. From there, the data governance team can work their way up, deciding what delineations between the higher rungs of the pyramid make sense, what kind of data will be stored at those levels, and how to determine who will have access to them. An excellent hierarchical system will look different for every organization, as they are built around the individual needs of each. Hospital-held data, for instance, is often less focused on maximizing financial returns and more on patient health and ensuring that internal systems run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. That isn’t always the case at a health insurer or other types of healthcare organizations, however. Data governance strategies are hard to visualize as they are often highly conceptual, but drawing out a hierarchy can help keep data governance straight for your employees