AHIMA Partnering with Information Governance Think Tank

Two notable developments cap off a productive Information Governance Month for AHIMA: a partnership with the Information Governance Initiative (IGI) and the creation of an information governance page for AHIMA’s website.

The Information Governance Initiative, which is run by Founder and Executive Director Barclay T. Blair, is a cross-industry consortium and think tank focused on promoting information governance efforts within a broad range of business types and industries. Its mission, among other goals, is to “advance the practice of information governance.”

Information governance is a broad activity with a large number of stakeholders, Blair said, which includes healthcare professionals. He noted that AHIMA’s membership owns information in a very challenging market that’s subject to overlapping and complex requirements and regulations. Because of this, information governance initiatives are vital to ensuring healthcare records meet compliance requirements and, at the same time, ensure the health and safety of patients.

“I think AHIMA’s membership has a lot of insight that comes in operating in that environment,” Blair said. “It’s very useful and very insightful for the other [Information Governance Initiative] stakeholders in this conversation.”

Blair hopes that IGI’s partnership with AHIMA—IGI’s first partnership with a healthcare organization—will help raise the profile of information governance.

“I think one of the problems shared across all sectors is that there’s been a lot of inattention to the importance of information, and that needs to change,” Blair said. “If it doesn’t change, frankly, I think that it’s a threat to our economy, it’s a threat to privacy, it’s a threat to the justice system.”

IGI has established a “Global Information Governance Day” on the third Thursday of February to raise awareness of the importance of information governance efforts for all industries that manage and use information. Blair recognizes that there are challenges and risks inherent in protecting health information. He says one of the biggest hurdles is the fact that health information doesn’t necessarily reside in one system.

“It can kind of pervade a lot of different systems and repositories in an organization, and ones we don’t necessarily think about. I think that makes it uniquely challenging,” Blair says.

IGI has created several videos on information governance, which AHIMA plans to share on its website, www.ahima.org, as a means of communicating information governance as a priority with its members and partners. One video answers the question “What is information governance,” while the other describes “The best way to fail at information governance.”

AHIMA has also launched a new information governance landing page, called Information Governance: Up Next. The page highlights AHIMA’s information governance expert advisory panel, tips for establishing information governance principles for healthcare, steps for developing an information governance maturity self-assessment, and tips for healthcare professionals who want to advocate for information governance.

The page eventually will serve as a repository for the findings of AHIMA’s upcoming survey on information governance initiatives in healthcare, conducted through a partnership with Cohasset Associates.

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