erate reports. Denver Health has changed its perspective on
project implementation to embrace a lifecycle approach to
governance—one that supports data integrity and informed
Information Governance Retention Policy Paramount
Monitoring progress and sharing the status of each application with all stakeholders is important throughout the decommissioning process. Even so, pushback can be expected. In
talking with end users when completing DRATs, the typical
response early on was: “We have to keep everything.” It is important to explore legitimate needs with users and offer support to alleviate concerns. For example, an organization may
have a legal case that requires keeping an application live until
the case is resolved. However, a “keep everything” approach is
not a practical long-term plan.
As healthcare organizations struggle to manage vast
amounts of electronic data from various sources, record re-
tention is an increasingly vital aspect of information gover-
nance. Like many health systems, Denver Health had not es-
tablished an enterprise information governance program—a
lifecycle management approach—to guide retention activi-
ties. Developing the DRATs provided an opportunity to iden-
tify pain points and gain insights among stakeholders—a
starting point to initiate information governance aligned
with overall organizational goals.
Creating a proactive retention policy that documents what
data an organization needs to keep, where it will reside, how
it will be used, and how long it should be retained is crucial
prior to conversion to a new system. As healthcare moves toward value-based care, organizations must take measures to
mitigate liability risk, reduce costs, decrease inefficiencies,
and ensure data integrity. Achieving these goals requires
wise investments in people, processes, and technology to
provide trustworthy information—an organization’s most
valuable asset. ¢
Mary Beth Haugen ( email@example.com) is president and
CEO of the Haugen Consulting Group, Inc. Jeff Pelot ( jeffrey.pelot@dhha.
org) is chief information officer at Denver Health.
The article “Legacy of the ‘First Lady of HIM’ Lives on through Grace
Award,” published in the October 2017 issue, incorrectly listed the date the
Registered Record Administrator (RRA) credential replaced the Registered
Record Librarian (RRL) credential in a timeline. The RRL was actually replaced by the RRA in 1971. The Journal of AHIMA apologizes for this error.
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