Data Governance in Healthcare


Information about the health and medical history of individuals is critically important to keep private, which precipitates the need for effective data governance in healthcare. The American Health Information Management Association defines data governance in healthcare as “an organization-wide framework for managing health information throughout its lifecycle.”

In this section, you’ll learn about the unique lifecycle of healthcare data, the impacts of data governance in healthcare, and the current legislation that revolves around healthcare data.

As the world becomes more technology-driven and more industries are recognizing data as an asset, the importance of data governance becomes more evident. Data governance is relatively new as a discipline; however, healthcare information management has existed as an industry for nearly a century.

Data governance in healthcare is a means of using the data that is collected to create additional value from that data as well as outlining the process through which that data is collected and handled to ensure that it is secure.

Because of the way that data governance can change the entire landscape of the healthcare industry, there is an increasing demand for professionals that are knowledgeable not only in healthcare itself but also in information management and data security. Academic programs, regulatory agencies, and professional organizations have been established all over America to promote the growth of this area of the healthcare industry.

Professionals in this space have a handful of key responsibilities. These include:

  • Advance data governance in healthcare through the development of policies, procedures, and dedicated Data Governance Frameworks as they relate to the industry.
  • Implement training programs throughout healthcare organizations to promote education in data governance.
  • Analyze and apply key healthcare data to create and support organizational strategies.

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Impacts Of Data Governance in Healthcare

The impacts of data governance in healthcare are what makes it so important. As you have read several times, data is an exceptionally valuable asset. Healthcare organizations can use the data that they collect in the same that any other business can; this data can be used to audit the quality of care that is being provided, create innovative strategies to increase efficiency, and streamline operations within a facility or company. Data is a great tool when it comes to making business decisions.

However, healthcare organizations are in a unique position. The data that they collect can also be used to help enhance the clinical decision-making process, which has a direct impact on individuals that rely on them for care. This is possible because of the lifecycle of healthcare data, which includes everything from treatment to research, government reporting, and beyond.

Having accurate data, which comes from a strong Data Governance Framework, helps improve the individual experiences of patients in a healthcare facility. It can help certain steps like triage and registration go more smoothly so that patients experience fewer delays in actually seeing a healthcare provider and getting treated.

Entire communities can benefit from strong data governance in healthcare. Data can demonstrate trends in certain populations that can inform intervention and inform public health policy. Robust data can also help improve research, innovate treatment avenues, and more.

Finally, cost reduction is one of the largest impacts of data governance in healthcare. Strong data management practices can increase the efficiency and cost-efficacy of an individual facility or throughout an organization of providers. These lower operating costs can help reduce costs for patients down the line.

Effective data governance in healthcare can ensure that the necessary information is easily accessible and properly integrated in order to inform the decisions made by individual providers and those in leadership roles, which can radiate out to create significant improvements throughout the entire healthcare industry.

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