How to Convince Your Boss IG is Essential

Deborah Green, MBA, RHIA, AHIMA’s executive vice president and chief innovation and global services officer, continued her discussion on the future of information governance (IG) in the Exhibit Hall Theatre J on Tuesday. Green focused her discussion on the value proposition for the IG program, including reduced cost, trusted data, patient safety, safe use of health IT, and interoperability.

Green discussed the need to start an IG program by gaining executive sponsor support. She emphasized that IG is a change management activity that affects everyone in the organization and it must be managed. Support from project management can aid in the change process as well as communications management. Having senior leadership support will get you the resources you need to be successful with this change initiative. Second to executive support is defining and engaging stakeholders to support the process.

Green interviewed the crowd during her presentation, discussing information governance councils. The group discussed how their organizations are evolving from the core medical records committee to governance councils. Green explained information governance is a subset of corporate governance.

So how do you go about getting the support of executives and key stakeholders? By providing a value to information and showing the benefits of secure quality data. Defense from a potential healthcare breach is another good tenet of information governance—not just protection of data in the electronic health record, but the securing of enterprise-wide quality data.

If you pay close attention to breaches in the news, you will notice that “employee” and “organization” data are typically also affected by breaches. While the industry hears more about large breaches because of the federal reporting requirements, both large and small breaches are exposing a need for organization-wide information governance. Futurist Joe Flower reminded convention attendees during Tuesday’s General Session that the Target retailer breach was done through the HVAC thermostat. Target had given vendors access to their intranet to control store temperatures, which opened a crack in the armor.

Joe Flowers also said yesterday during General Session, “Trust is the number one efficiency engine in the next generation of healthcare.” Trust in data costs money so organizations have not engaged, but they must. Trusted information is an important facet of information governance.

Green also highlighted the IG announcements made Tuesday during her Exhibit Hall presentation, discussing the IG tools AHIMA has created to foster IG success, including IG PulseRateTM and IG AdvisorsTM. IG PulseRate is available now at Compliance officers, privacy officers, and key leaders can take their organization’s IG PulseRate and see how prepared they are for IG. This tool is meant to help show an organization’s weaknesses as you try and gain support for IG in your organization.

IG Advisors offers support from AHIMA IG experts to help an organization start, continue, and successfully lead and manage IG.

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