How health IT standards fit in with information governance

Proposed health IT standards for information management are outlined in a new white paper produced via a collaboration between the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), HIMSS and the nonprofit Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE).

It's the product of an AHIMA task force focused on information governance--setting policies on managing health information throughout its lifecycle not only for clinical use, but also for hospital strategy, operations, regulatory, legal and other uses.

Better information governance will be required to deliver value amid the push for new reimbursement models, according to AHIMA. Its recent survey found information governance has "established a toehold in healthcare," though AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon has said healthcare needs to "step up" in governance as banking and retail have.

AHIMA released an information governance framework last October.

The new white paper, on which AHIMA is accepting comment, examines practices involving health information availability, integrity and protection. It looks at alignment of standards in terms of business requirements, practice checklists and use cases, and considers the capabilities of vendor products to support these practices, according to an announcement.

It also looks at how well the functional requirements for HIT standards are aligned with practice; aims to inform national and international HIT interoperability standards for vendor products; and creates a roadmap for developing these standards.

For example, its roadmap for 2015-2016 calls for continuing to develop use cases around issues including data quality, copy and paste, patient matching and care transitions, then undertaking a detailed gap analysis of HIT standards for each of those use cases.

As the UPMC Health System builds out its analytics capabilities, it created a data governance council to formalize and standardize the use of data across the organization, which started with mundane issues such as data definitions, where data is sent and how to send data to different places.

To learn more:
- read the white paper (.pdf)
- check out the announcement