Panel Discusses IG Benefits

As the term “information governance” (IG) becomes more and more familiar to health information management (HIM) professionals, many are looking for ways to make the case for getting IG efforts underway at their organizations.

Michelle Hermann, MS, RHIA, director of HIM at Children’s Health System of Texas (Children’s Health); Starla Ledbetter, MHSA, RHIA, PMP, chief data officer, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) in California; and Kyle McElroy, MHSA, RHIA, AVP of HIM at IASIS Healthcare in Tennessee, closed out Monday’s convention sessions with a captivating panel discussion on successful IG initiatives and their benefits.

Each panelist described why there was a need for IG, IG projects completed or in process, return on investment, cost reduction/value increase, and lessons learned. The panelists provided real-life applications of the Information Governance Adoption Model (IGAM™) by relating their IG projects back to the IGAM competencies, which provides a structured approach for assessing current state of IG, prioritizing IG initiatives, and developing an IG strategic plan.

The coordinated efforts of OSHPD require information assets to be trustworthy, accurate, and reliable, Ledbetter said. Implementing IG at OSHPD was driven by their strategic plan and the need to eliminate siloes and increase cross-divisional collaboration, leverage resources, and increase transparency enterprise-wide.

OSHPD discussed IG-related projects that focused on the data level, including data validation, data classification, facility naming, open data, and data de-identification—all part of the IGAM.

IASIS is a large integrated delivery network that coordinates and shares a significant amount of data and information with internal and external partners. These efforts drove IASIS to implement IG as a way to comply with ISO 9001:2008 Document Control Guidelines, including legibility, identifiability, retrievability, storage options, protection, retention, and disposition.

To meet these controls, IASIS performed several IG-related projects including patient identification, enterprise-wide paper inventory, enterprise destruction management, and enterprise clinical document decommission and standardization.

It was important that leaders at Children’s Health, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the US, aligned IG efforts with the organization’s strategic plan and values by utilizing an already established committee that welcomed the expansion of focus and was supported by leadership. As a result of these drivers, Children’s Health focused on a series of IG-related projects, including engaging leaders, assembling a cross-functional steering committee, creating the IG charter, performing a gap analysis, defining their strategy, and increasing communication across the organization.

Each of the panelists shared lessons learned and tips for success, including the importance of building a strong and dedicated committee, clearly defining staff roles and responsibilities, engaging executive sponsors and other organization leaders, providing clear and consistent communication, setting achievable goals, celebrating successes, and utilizing IGHealthRate™ to set their baseline for IG.

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