cybersecurity, encryption, firewalls, logins, passwords, etc.
There is a large footprint in the industry today focused on
security to prevent breaches and address ransomware. This
focus is typically very technical and dominated by those who
specialize in hardware, software, and networking intricacies.
Information Quality Management: In many cases, this
refers to proper mapping, formatting, lengths of fields,
sources of truth, and database cataloging. These types of
mechanics and rules are quantitative requirements for
maintaining information quality. HIPs have skillsets that
expand on these requirements by bringing the qualitative fundamentals of information veracity to the table.
Data Governance: Usually refers to data ownership, consolidation, packaging, and aligning tactics with a larger
data modeling strategy. Data governance is a competency
of IG. It focuses on standardization and sensible allowances to maintain data lineage.
The organization’s information strategy acts as the hub for all of
the EIM components. What can the information do to bring value
to the organization and support its long-term goals? What are the
regulatory pressures—such as the 21st Century Cures Act or the
Trusted Exchange Framework—being applied to the management of information that will shape the organization’s approach?
How does the IG landscape compare or fit in? Maybe it connects
the dots or links each of the components, or maybe it lives in one
or two of the areas and interacts with the others. Or perhaps it is
an entry point or an exit point, or maybe it is the ongoing process
improvement program for EIM.
Take inventory of the current EIM structure to understand the
strengths and weaknesses in order to build IG around where the
organization is going.
Honing the Information Strategy with IG
Cultivating information asset valuation in partnership with the
EIM framework is an optimal first step. The second step is aligning
IG efforts with the information strategy and then governing the
focus through prioritization and solid business case realization.
Determine information strategies and continue to brand them.
There are many factors to assess. Some can be considered
long-term, while others are short-term. Deciding which one
to pursue takes reconciliation with the organization’s other
business-driven strategies. It may be that the healthcare organization is looking to increase services within the community through outpatient locations. Perhaps the organization
is looking to standardize and consolidate healthcare services
provided by the pharmacy to all of its campuses. In any case,
the information strategy must align with business goals.
IG differs from IT governance, which involves technical man-
agement to support, implement, adopt, increase, and optimize
software and hardware systems. IG must foster the growth of
information as an asset to support the organization’s informa-
tion strategy. Most organizations seek a return on investment or
some form of business case realization. To be successful, HIPs
must balance crafting the long-term information asset frame-
work and delivering value through short-term business case
achievement or tangible investment returns.
Developing an IG business case or delivering returns requires
a paradigm shift from focusing on information processing to
developing and protecting information assets. Fulfilling the demands of an organization’s information strategy can be realized
by conforming outcomes to relatable business success measurements and performance metrics. For example:
Quantifiable information veracity could be achieved by
performing electronic health record (EHR) system compliance audits against company standards. Create points of
evaluation and checklists to review audit trails.
Run analysis on transactional processing to determine
peaks of interface traffic and validity of medical device
outputs to understand performance and timing. Track and
Institute user surveys regarding the design of the EHR to establish a baseline for level of information trust. Form focus
groups to determine more specific pain points. Implement
changes and resurvey users.
Perform quality review assessments of information system
conformance with security, usage, and downtime policies.
Use a scoring system to report outcomes.
Develop education and training for information stewardship. Conduct periodic tests and evaluations of the workforce and report scores.
Introduce and implement a maturity model. The Information Governance Adoption Model (IGAM™), developed by
AHIMA and measured via AHIMA’s IGHealthRate™ platform, is an excellent example that allows the organization
to determine what level of maturity is appropriate and
quantify its progress toward that goal.
EIM exists in every organization—and so does IG. HIPs that
have a passion for the mechanics, science, management, and valuation of health information are at a pivotal point in the industry
to institutionalize IG within their organizations. IG will continue
to mature, be further defined, and become a common model
such as EIM. The blueprints are now becoming framework; and
those involved today are creating tomorrow’s structure. Explore
the organizational landscape to determine what can be done to
pave the road, repair the highway, or at least mark the path. ¢
1. Laney, Douglas B. Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage,
and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage. New York City, NY: Bibliomotion, 2017.
2. AHIMA. “Information Governance Principles for Healthcare
3. Gartner, Inc. “Enterprise Information Management.” www.
John H. Dickey ( John.Dickey@HCAhealthcare.com) is the clinical informatics director at HCA Corporate.