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AHIMA White Paper Offers Data Governance Advice

Implementation of a data governance program—a series of standardized management practices to address the creation, use, and reporting of data—is essential to the quality, accessibility and security of the vast amount of data within a health care organization.

A key component to information governance, health care organizations' adoption of data governance, is the focus of a newly published white paper from AHIMA and Iron Mountain Incorporated entitled "2018 Information Governance Adoption Model™ (IGAM) Assessing the Data Governance Competency as a Subset of Information Governance."

The white paper outlines four of the eight maturity markers of a data governance program and provides insights and practical applications from Iron Mountain, a collaborative partner and IGHealthRate™ supporter, to advance data governance in health care. Part of the same overall program, data governance covers the policies and strategies that address the creation of data while information governance concerns the lifecycle management of this data and information, including its use, protection, and preservation.

The first in a series that will focus on specific IGAM™ competencies using data analytics from IGHealthRate, the white paper is free and available to organizations in both provider and nonprovider settings.

"An established data and information governance program not only ensures the quality and integrity of health information, but it directly contributes to safe, quality patient care," says AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD. "With this first in a series of white papers, AHIMA is sharing important insights that will help organizations continue on their path to information governance maturity—improving patient care, population health management and reducing health care costs."

A recent survey of health care organizations using AHIMA's IGAM™, including hospitals, physician groups, and accountable care organizations, among others, found that most scored at a Level 2 for data governance maturity. This indicates they are aware of the benefit and the impact that data quality and data stewards have on effective use and management of data, but do not have fully implemented programs, according to findings highlighted in the white paper. To mature in the data governance competency, AHIMA advises organization leaders and stakeholders focus on implementation of an effective governance program and initiatives that address the maturity markers in a systematic manner.

The IGAM™ maturity markers addressed in the white paper include the following:

• establishment of a data governance program focused on guidelines for data quality and compliance;

• business process ownership to establish, among other issues, policies for controlling and granting access to data;

• effective use of data stewards to create a formal role or set of roles that include responsibility and accountability for data across the data lifecycle; and

• data governance policies and procedures to establish expectations and processes for consistent data governance practice by an organization's workforce. 

— Source: AHIMA