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How Do I Maintain Good Healthcare Data Governance?

By Ron Stephenson on February 19, 2016

Healthcare Data Governance

how-do-i-maintain-good-healthcare-data-governance.jpgAccording to research by KPMG, only 10 percent of healthcare facilities are using data and analytics to their full potential, with 21 percent still in the infancy stage. As noted by KPMG: “Many organizations are not where they need to be in leveraging this technology. Healthcare organizations need to employ new approaches to examining healthcare data to uncover patterns about cost and quality, which includes safety, to make better informed decisions.”

While each health system is unique, in our experience one of the most powerful  ways to ensure strong healthcare data governance is by integrating it as a core component of your organizational culture. Below, we highlight 4 key ways to turn this vision into a reality:

1. Focus on data quality

The Garbage-In-Garbage-Out (GIGO) syndrome is prevalent in healthcare data. The value of reporting and decision support solutions can easily be compromised by bad data. The best way to safeguard against unreliable or incomplete data is to deploy a data governance approach that focused on high data quality as its central theme.

2. Ensure balanced governance

It is common for healthcare facilities to find that their data governance program is too rigid and restrictive. Or, maybe they’re on the other extreme where they are too lenient - either due to a lack of governance or lack of enforcement of the policies in place. The key to good healthcare data governance is to find the optimal balance of oversight -- one that ensures data quality, while streamlining the related processes and workflows.

3. Educate the reporting team

The reporting team is an important and core resource in the success of a data governance program. Ensure they are properly educated in the policies, as well as incentivized to participate in enhancing the process. Without their buy-in and commitment, good healthcare data governance is challenging to achieve.

4. Promote communication

It is vital to keep staff informed and engaged in data governance policy. Ensuring  users are aware that, ultimately, they are the front-line data stewards and the key to the program’s success. When they can clearly see how good healthcare data governance translates into better clinical care -- and they understand their role in the process -- users are generally more motivated to support the effort. Providing a forum for staff to give feedback or recommendations for process improvement is necessary as well.

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Ensuring high quality healthcare data is not a function relegated to developers alone. It requires executive sponsorship and engages users throughout the organization. Furthermore, data governance is not a project that has an end point.  It is an ongoing practice that must permeate the culture of your healthcare facility.

Syntrix's data governance process will help you engage all key parties and promote the importance of data quality throughout your organization. To learn more, contact the Syntrix team today.

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