Healthcare organizations are continuously collecting and storing data to make better decisions about patient care, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs. However, there is a potential risk associated with the quality of this data which can lead to inaccurate diagnoses, missed treatments, and even patient harm. One of the best practices to avoid these hassles is the implementation of data governance, the process of establishing policies and procedures for managing data throughout its lifecycle. In return, data will be accurate, complete, consistent, and accessible to authorized users.
In this blog, we will show the importance of integrating data quality and data governance for improving healthcare outcomes and how it can be achieved.
The implementation of data governance policies is essential to ensure the ethical and compliant use of healthcare data while safeguarding patient privacy and confidentiality. By adhering to these policies, healthcare organizations can enhance their data quality and governance processes, ultimately leading to improved patient care. By fortifying their compliance with pertinent regulations, such as HIPAA and the HITECH Act, healthcare organizations can mitigate potential risks associated with non-compliance and protect themselves from possible legal and financial ramifications stemming from unauthorized access or misuse of sensitive patient information. Moreover, the integration will guarantee the accuracy and comprehensiveness of data which can bolster an organization’s capacity to make informed decisions about patient care. This can ultimately translate to better clinical outcomes, including but not limited to shorter hospital stays, decreased readmission rates, and heightened patient satisfaction levels.
Another important benefit is the ease of optimizing operational efficiency and minimizing costs when data is accessible. This may enable organizations to allocate freed-up resources to improve patient care services, ultimately leading to better clinical outcomes.
Integrating data quality and data governance is essential for healthcare organizations to improve their overall performance as we have previously explained. But what are the steps that an organization can take to achieve it?
Establishing a data governance council is a crucial step in this process, where the council comprises stakeholders from different departments and functions with a shared responsibility for creating and supervising policies and procedures relating to data governance. The council's formation ensures the efficient management of data and conformity with established guidelines, minimizing data quality issues and errors, and optimizing the data's value for decision-making and improving patient outcomes. In the healthcare industry, data governance policies and procedures are paramount for ensuring the effective management of data. Comprehensive policies and procedures must cover all facets of data management, including data collection, storage, access, use, and security. Healthcare organizations must take great care to ensure that their data governance policies align with industry standards and regulations to protect sensitive patient information. Developing a robust data governance framework provides a clear understanding of data ownership, access, and usage rights, promoting transparency and accountability. Additionally, healthcare organizations that have established data governance policies and procedures can ensure consistent data quality and promote data-driven decision-making. Thus, implementing and enforcing a thorough set of data governance policies and procedures is crucial for ensuring the accurate, reliable, and secure management of healthcare data.
At Syntrix, we recommend leveraging a range of data governance tools and technologies to automate data quality checks, track data lineage, and manage data access permissions. These solutions can help organizations minimize the risk of errors, inconsistencies, and data breaches, while ensuring compliance with healthcare regulations. For instance, investing in popular tools like Power BI can significantly improve data governance and enable healthcare providers to make informed decisions based on reliable data. One other key step in ensuring an effective integration is providing staff with adequate training on related policies and procedures. This helps them understand their responsibilities and roles in managing data and reduces the risk of errors and non-compliance. Healthcare organizations can leverage various training methods, such as on-the-job training, e-learning, and workshops, to ensure that staff members are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for effective data governance. Regular refresher courses can also be provided to ensure that staff members stay up to date with any changes in data governance policies and procedures.
Make sure to check our webinar series where we discussed some of the best practices for data reusability and how you can guarantee a return on investment for your Power BI efforts.