A New View of Data Governance and Healthcare

A New View of Data Governance and Healthcare

Guest post author: Monica Eliou, MGA, Managing Director, Healthcare Operations and Technology

Healthcare is at a crossroads. The ability of an organization to succeed in an environment of uncertainty is completely dependent on a single-minded determination to achieve its vision and mission. If the mission is uncertain, it is difficult for an organization to have clarity on using its data assets. Data governance is a mechanism to acknowledge that data is a strong organizational asset that must be managed appropriately and can mitigate uncertainty. It requires the organization to have well-defined goals and the end results it wants to achieve. Data must be available, usable, reliable, and secure. Data governance becomes a continual reminder that healthcare technology is a living entity that must be nurtured.

Redefine the paradigm

Electronic health records have made more evident that the departmental silos of the past no longer serve the health system. The Data Governance Council is the first sign in the CIO’s purview that an organization recognizes that each department is an interdisciplinary part of a whole and its role in contributing to the data assets is vital. The following chart depicts seven operational needs required for data to be available, usable, reliable, and secure that the organization must embrace in its mission to achieve its goals. Note that the model does not address the various departments of the organization. It represents the operational importance of data throughout the organization.

Barriers to Change

In her article Data Management is Often Overlooked, Consulting Magazine’s Erin Hichman describes an all too familiar attitude toward healthcare technology use – go for the (data) prize, ask questions about what it should look like later. Rushing technology projects, without the operational design work up front, is a major factor why 61% of healthcare technology professionals think their EHR projects have not lived up to their ROI potential. The organization’s culture, whether do it right or just get it done, is another major factor whether projects achieve their goals.

The Argument for Change

A broadened thinking of the Triple Aim is now known as the Quadruple Aim. Its premise is that along with improving patient satisfaction, population health, and cost reductions, an organization must also consider workforce burnout. Often this refers to providers and their added responsibilities with EHRs. Technology projects that were not well thought out or executed create dissatisfaction and negative pressures on providers. Commitment to vision and mission, consideration of the Quadruple Aim, and embrace of data governance are excellent starts to a strong foundation toward risk mitigation. The Data Governance Council is a robust tool for the CIO to guide their vision, change their culture, and position healthcare information technology in a prominent role for the organization’s mission.

Author: Monica Eliou, MGA, is the Managing Director, Healthcare Operations and Technology at Tolero Solutions. Monica has 25 years of experience in healthcare in areas of clinical, supply chain, technology and project management. She delivers trusted advisory services in a broad range of healthcare settings, including medium and large provider settings, community hospitals and academic medical centers.

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