AHIMA’s Information Governance Pilot Sites Speak

Two HIM professionals currently immersed in AHIMA’s information governance (IG) pilot program shared, in detail, their experience using AHIMA’s tools to launch their own IG programs during a recent webinar.

In Tuesday’s webinar, “IG Pilot Lessons Learned and Keys to Success,” Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, chief health information management and exchange officer at Children’s Health System of Texas, explained that all healthcare organizations are being asked to do more with less. The key to succeeding in this environment, she said, is “managing better,” by understanding, first, IG’s reach.

Lusk’s first steps after becoming a pilot site for AHIMA’s Information Governance Adoption Model (IGAM) included engaging leaders throughout her organization, assembling a cross-functional steering committee, performing a gap analysis, and defining a strategy. The creation of an Information Governance Program Charter helped articulate the expectations of everyone involved and the goals of the program.
“A core tenant of the program is that coordinated decisions about information will be made for the benefit of the entire organization with consideration of information requirements and risk management,” Lusk said.

Lusk took her company’s data governance team and built on by adding subject matter experts from finance, legal, and security, to create the IG steering committee. HIM runs the committee’s meetings but makes information generated in the committee available to upper management. Each subject matter expert is responsible for one of the 10 IG competencies identified in the IGAM, such as strategic alignment, data governance, privacy and security, and IT governance, among others.

Lusk says her facility is constantly measuring its progress according to AHIMA’s tools, like the IGAM and IGHealthRate®. She currently rates her organization’s process as a “4” on the IGAM’s 1-5 validation scale.

Lusk’s co-presenter, Louis Galterio, MBA, FHIMSS, president, Suncoast RHIO, a regional health information organization in Florida, emphasized the importance of IG in today’s merger and acquisition-heavy environment.

Large hospitals keen on acquiring smaller ones are looking for organizations that can already demonstrate well-aligned best practices and robust compliance policies.

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