Though they might be shy about admitting it, it’s quite possible that some AHIMA members still have questions about information governance (IG) in healthcare—what it is, how it’s achieved, and how HIM is involved. Fortunately, February is IG Month at AHIMA and there are countless ways for the IG-naive to firm up their grasp of the concept.
AHIMA has been working since 2012 “to bring information governance principles and practices from other industries into healthcare,” said Kathy Downing, MA, RHIA, CHP, PMP, senior director of information governance at AHIMA. Downing says that even though IG is a huge multi-year undertaking, AHIMA has the tools to help assist organizations. “And according to the 2015 white paper, IG is taking hold in healthcare and many organizations are making significant progress—so if you want to lead IG, now is your time,” Downing said.
February will see the formal launch of the online tool HealthRate, several IG webinars, an issue of the Journal of AHIMA dedicated to IG, frequent updates to the Journal website’s IG-focused blog IGIQ, and the launch of an infographic, as well as presentations by AHIMA staff at important industry events taking place in February.
Ann Meehan, RHIA, director of information governance at AHIMA, says that IG month is intended to raise awareness for IG and better articulate “how it [IG] differs from information management, data governance, and information technology governance. It is critical that HIM leaders embrace IG and work collaboratively with their colleagues and senior leaders to move it forward,” Meehan says.
Although announcements were made about AHIMA’s newest IG products at AHIMA’s 2015 Annual Convention and Exhibit in New Orleans, February is the official launch of HealthRate. This online tool will help providers evaluate their IG readiness according to the 10 competencies defined in the Information Governance Adoption Model (IGAM). The IGAM is comprised of 10 competencies.
“IG HealthRate takes IG maturity to the next level through a serious of competency markers, help and coaching to assist an organization in determining where gaps are, and in developing action plans for moving up the maturity ladder,” Meehan explained.
Perhaps the most informative and digestible way to learn about IG is through listening in on one or all of AHIMA’s complimentary IG webinars.
On February 16, Seth Katz, MPH, RHIA, from Truman Medical Centers, will be the featured speaker for the webinar “Making the Case For Information Governance in Healthcare.” Katz will discuss how his organization determined it needed an IG program.
The following day, on February 17, Barclay T. Blair, from the Information Governance Initiative will discuss how IG is handled in other industries in his webinar, “Advances in Information Governance—Who, What and How Much Will it Cost.”
In the final IG Month webinar, “IG Pilot Lessons Learned and Keys to Success” on February 23, participants in AHIMA’s IG pilot sites, where organizations began using the IGAM, will talk about what they’ve learned about adopting, implementing, and managing an IG program.