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AHIMA Launches Industrywide Information Governance Initiative

During a time of technological transformation and increasing proliferation of data, AHIMA is launching an initiative to increase awareness of the importance of information governance and move the health care industry to action.

CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, RHIA, MBA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA, recently announced the AHIMA initiative during her presentation, “The Next Frontier: Quality Clinical Documentation and Health Data Integrity” at the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

“Information leads to intelligence and information should be recognized as the valuable asset it is and managed carefully,” Thomas Gordon said. “To achieve quality clinical documentation and health data integrity we need information governance—the adoption of principles that will allow organizations to manage information. Trust in health information depends on it.

“Information is critical to coordinating care, so we have to govern our information. Coordination of care is critical to reducing health care cost, and health care cost reduction is critical to improving the economy. We in HIM have to make this connection so the health care industry can see the big picture.”

AHIMA’s information governance approach will focus on the unique aspects of health information, particularly quality and continued integrity of data.

“Information governance is about proactively managing the information health care organizations are collecting, producing, maintaining, and exchanging to ensure that information is trustworthy, appropriately accessible, accurate, and actionable,” Thomas Gordon said.

For 2014, AHIMA has planned a series of activities that will increase awareness and importance of information governance and provide best practices. These include the following:

• establishing an expert advisory panel;

• conducting the first survey on the state of information governance in health care;

• publishing a white paper that analyzes the survey’s findings;

• developing information governance principles and readiness assessment for health care;

• developing an adaptable information governance model and resources for operationalizing information governance in health care (2014-15); and

• dedicating sessions to information governance at AHIMA’s 2014 Convention and Exhibit as well as webinars, Twitter chats, Journal of AHIMA articles, and more.

Initial AHIMA recommendations to develop and implement an information governance program include the following:

• develop a compelling business case;

• conduct a current state assessment;

• understand your organization’s strategy and long-term goals;

• develop strategy, identify goals, and define purpose of program;

• build leadership support for the vision of managing information as an asset;

• establish an authority to develop policies, processes, standards, definitions, and metrics; and

• create a high-level work plan and define measures of success.

“An information governance program requires time, executive sponsorship and leadership, and funding, but the rewards are substantial—increased knowledge across the enterprise; better understanding of what data must be preserved, collected, and reviewed; greater efficiencies; and better data to make better decisions,” Thomas Gordon said. “This will help health care organizations reach the triple aim of improving the patient experience of care, improving population health, and reducing the per capita cost of health care.”

Additional information and resources on AHIMA’s information governance initiative can be accessed on the association’s website.

Source: AHIMA