While data has historically been viewed across the business landscape as a valuable organizational asset, in the healthcare field it is rightly perceived as fundamentally critical for quality patient care.
As a result, the concept of “healthcare data governance” has emerged to establish acceptable and appropriate strategies, frameworks, methodologies, and best practices for turning “raw information” into insightful, actionable intelligence. In turn, these best practices help healthcare facilities maximize the value of their data. This approach also governs how information should be collected, stored, transmitted and deleted – from a data standards and efficiency standpoint, as well as for confidentiality.
While each organization must implement its own healthcare data governance plan based on prevailing regulations and requirements, as well as internal goals, below we present some general tips that should be integrated into a healthcare data governance plan:
1. Less is more
When initially formulating a data governance plan, using a broad framework is suggested to ensure building a solid foundation and effective workflows. A common, early misstep is to apply too many policies or excessive committees upfront, creating an inefficient and lethargic process. Start lean and expand data governance as necessary.
2. Data quality is most important
The core objective of data governance is to ensure the organization’s data quality. Incomplete or low quality data will have a negative impact on daily operations, as well as decision making throughout the organization. Focus on data quality when formulating your data governance priorities.
3. Data accessibility versus security
One of the crucial functions of a data governance committee is to ensure accessibility to data, while working within the confines of data security policies. In some organizations, data governance and security teams work in tandem, while some elect to combine the two efforts into one team or committee. Providing the infrastructure for data accessibility is a key function to consider when developing a governance plan.
4. Data literacy is taught
There are technology-led methods to help maintain a data governance strategy -- like identifying trends and checking data validation -- but, it is also imperative for team members to contribute to data governance as well. To that end, they must be educated on various data literacy concepts and tools, so they can help identify issues with data accuracy and completeness, and support opportunities for process improvements.
5. Continuous quality improvement
Healthcare data governance is not “event driven” -- it is an ongoing process that requires buy-in and focus at all levels of the organization. It also requires investments in technology, training, analytics, and reporting. Continuous improvement and evolution is a must.
Ensuring that healthcare data remain comprehensive, accurate, and current is not a function relegated to developers alone. It requires executive sponsorship and engages data users across multiple business and clinical functions. Furthermore, data governance is not a project that has an end point. It is an ongoing practice that must permeate the culture of your hospital or clinic.
To learn more, contact Syntrix today. We will work together with your team to help you maximize the value of your data.
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