Healthcare Organizations Recognizing Importance of IG

    Aug 26, 2015

    Healthcare organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of information governance (IG), according to a recent survey by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

    The Information Governance Principles for Healthcare, which ARMA worked with AHIMA to develop, declares that policies are needed for use throughout an organization to manage, protect, and then use information to support “strategy, operations, and regulatory, legal and environmental requirements.”

    As healthcare organizations are collecting more data from information systems and seeking to use it to analyze care delivery, improve clinical efforts, and cost-effectively deliver care, they are increasingly embracing IG, as shown by the number of respondents who indicated that IG objectives are included in their organization’s strategic plans and the number who said they have executive endorsement of their IG program.

    “The survey shows progress in the industry’s move toward IG, a strategic imperative for all healthcare organizations to achieve improved quality and patient safety, cost control and the overall trustworthiness of information,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon. 

    This progress is evidenced by these findings from the 2015 survey:

    • 16% of respondents said efforts are underway in their organizations to establish an IG oversight body.
    • 36% of respondents said their organizations have designated a senior executive to sponsor information governance.
    • 38% indicate that IG objectives are included in their organization’s strategic goals, and 32% have appointed an IG change management champion.
    • 19% said they are contributing members to their organization’s IG oversight body, while 4% said they chair the oversight body.
    • 43% of respondents believe their IG roles gives them the opportunity to be more visible and valuable to other departments in their organizations.

    Many organizations are still lagging behind, though, as 40% of respondents said their organizations don’t have any form of IG oversight group and have no plans to establish one.

    “For me, among the most significant findings is that 36 percent of the respondents indicate that a senior executive has been designated to sponsor IG,” said Deborah Green, AHIMA’s executive vice president and chief innovation and global services officer. “That’s a major sign that IG has established a toehold in healthcare. This means more than a third of the organizations represented are sufficiently convinced to take this step because they see the value of information as a strategic asset.”

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