Healthcare governance best practices: A #VirtualHIMSS20 primer

Many healthcare systems might equate information technology governance to exercise: you know it’s necessary and you know you must do it right to achieve success – but both tasks are difficult to accomplish.

This is particularly true when ensuring health IT deployment success, and healthcare organizations know it. More than half of respondents to an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) survey reported either having information governance programs in place or knowing they need one. Fourteen percent have initiated organization-wide programs.

Unfortunately, no single template exists for building the perfect governance model or building the best bridge between clinical and corporate governance structures, let alone aligning IT strategy with both clinical and corporate goals.

So it’s no surprise that governance goals feel weakened when either the clinical or corporate side is under-performing. Or certain decision-making teams hand over responsibilities to other departments, effectively closing key lines of communication.

This typically comes to a head when healthcare systems must allocate resources, and those resources are scarce, especially IT.

If the right governance structure is in place, however, groups within the framework can act on governance structure and often make solid, informed decisions on resource allocation. It also ensures the interests of stakeholders, clinicians and staff, and the processes they follow, are all taken into account.

If the wrong structure is in place? Well then, “Who’s on first?”

Governance for decision-making: Who’s on first?

When it comes to IT resources, healthcare organizations rely on several core systems, from content services to electronic medical record (EMR) and enterprise imaging solutions, to instantaneously deliver vital patient care information to clinicians when and where they need it. Those same solutions are used in reverse, capturing vital information, classifying and organizing it and storing it for later reference.

But that process becomes jeopardized within a faulty governance structure, where clinical and corporate departments operate on their own, sometimes due to lack of access to IT resources, and create workarounds that do not follow organizational and business processes outlined by the healthcare system. The problem persists when departmental decision makers work toward a singular vision for their areas of the organization and do not involve other departments dependent on the same resources.

The right governance structure, however, connects like-minded committees and allows for the free flow of information, discussion and debate. It also engages C-level decision makers and ensures that organizational vision, guiding principles and top strategies are in alignment with recommendations, plans and operational strategies surrounding IT deployment.

Talk to the experts

So how do you build a successful governance strategy for your organization?

In Hyland Healthcare’s first Virtual HIMSS20 presentation, taking place Thursday, March 12, at 1 p.m., Betty Dunagan, an RHIA with 40 years of practice in Health Information Management, and Phil Wasson, Hyland Healthcare industry manager and consultant and former healthcare CIO, discuss classic challenges and practical approaches to designing the right IT governance framework.

In this speaking session you’ll learn:

  • How to define the scope of an effective governance program
  • The impact of disparate channels of governance and examples of governance breakdown
  • Approaches to designing an effective governance structure
  • The importance of communication and transparency
  • How tactics and strategy can overlap if not structured effectively

Ready to learn more? Register for Governance for decision-making: Who’s on first?

Or visit Hyland Healthcare’s Virtual HIMSS20 Connection Center.

Tom Tennant has expertise in content creation and content services and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.
Tom Tennant

Tom Tennant

Tom Tennant has expertise in content creation and content services and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.

... read more about: Tom Tennant