Supporting the theme of information governance at its annual conference this week in San Diego, the American Health Information Management Association has released a framework for helping healthcare organizations to govern information based on eight principles.

Called the Information Governance Principles for Healthcare (IGPHC), the framework is aimed at governing information across all organizational functions. Adapted from ARMA International’s Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles, IGPHC includes established practices from relevant areas such as quality improvement, safety, risk management, compliance, data governance, privacy and security.   

AHIMA defines information governance as “an organization-wide framework for managing information throughout its lifecycle and for supporting the organization’s strategy, operations, regulatory, legal, risk, and environmental requirements.”

“Information must be recognized and treated as the asset that it is. When information has integrity it can be transformed into reliable health intelligence. This is critical to coordinating care, improving outcomes and reducing costs,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon.

However, results of an AHIMA survey released earlier this year revealed that information governance programs are not as prevalent or mature in healthcare compared to other industries.

In the survey, only 11 percent of respondents characterized their information governance as "mature" programs. Also, a mere 17 percent of healthcare organizations had mature policy and procedure practices in place. In addition, 35 percent of survey respondents either didn't know whether their healthcare organizations had information governance efforts underway or indicated that their organization did not recognize the need for information governance, while 22 percent acknowledged the need but had not yet initiated a program.    

AHIMA encourages healthcare organizations to utilize IGPHC as they either start or refine their own information governance programs based on eight principles: accountability, transparency, integrity, protection, compliance, availability, retention, and disposition.

The AHIMA framework for information governance can be found here.

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