ONC’s Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework Endorses AHIMA’s IGAM

Keep up with the latest on information governance as this key strategy emerges for addressing a myriad of information management challenges in healthcare. This blog will highlight the trends and opportunities IG presents for ensuring information is treated as an organizational asset.

By Kristi Fahy, RHIA


AHIMA has recognized the need for information governance (IG) in the healthcare industry since 2012. Over the years, particularly 2016 and 2017, AHIMA has had several discussions with government entities such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), and the Office for Civil Rights regarding the importance of trustworthy, complete, and accurate information in order to achieve industry goals, regulations, and requirements.

Some of these goals, regulations, and requirements include safe use of health IT, patient safety, population health, interoperability, and value-based care. Healthcare organizations have seen significant improvements in these areas through their IG practices, and government entities are beginning to recognize the true value of IG.

On December 14, 2017, ONC announced a new Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework, designed to help organizations ensure their data management standards and processes are effective, sustainable, and improve patient safety by minimizing the number of duplicate records across the industry. AHIMA’s Information Governance Adoption Model™ (IGAM) was cited in the Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework as a resource that provides useful implementation guidance for data governance in the areas of data modeling, data mapping, data audit, data quality controls, data quality management, data architecture, and data dictionaries.

AHIMA developed IGAM as a way for healthcare organizations to apply IG to their current practices. The IGAM can be accessed through AHIMA’s IGHealthRate tool; an assessment tool that measures maturity through more than 80 maturity markers on a 1 to 5 scoring model. There are a number of data governance maturity markers within the tool such as metadata management, master data management, effective use of data stewards, data quality, and more.

In an effort to further expand IG in healthcare, AHIMA announced in October 2017 that the IGHealthRate assessment tool is now available for free to qualified healthcare organizations. Organizations of all types, sizes, and complexities have utilized and benefited from the IGHealthRate tool, including hospitals, integrated delivery networks, health systems, health information exchanges, public health agencies, business associates, payers, and more.

The inclusion of IGAM in the Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework and the move to free access of IGHealthRate offers a mighty stride in the right direction for IG in healthcare. Nationwide healthcare initiatives are often driven or mandated by government entities. It will be essential that these government entities push IG as a way to achieve interoperability, improve patient care, enhance cybersecurity, and so much more. AHIMA will continue to supply IG resources, content, and education to prepare healthcare organizations for the shift to information excellence through information governance.

And don’t forget, the flow of data and information is never-ending—we must put some structure around it all to keep our heads above water!
Visit IGIQ for all of AHIMA’s IG resources.


Kristi Fahy (kristi.fahy@ahima.org) is an information governance analyst at AHIMA.

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