Information Governance in Healthcare: Using IG in Healthcare to Ensure HIM Professionals Are Heard

John Lynn

Some HIM professionals are seeing their positions pushed down the organization chart. While many of these people do not have lofty ambitions when it comes to organizational leadership, they all want to make sure their voices are heard. But this is challenging if you are getting pushed down the org chart.

One area that HIM professionals can uniquely contribute to the organization’s mission and make sure their voices are heard regardless of leadership status is around information governance (IG). There are great examples of HIM professionals who have used information governance in healthcare to gain a stronger voice in their organization. Look no further than Iron Mountain’s Information Governance Awards to see firsthand examples of this principle in action.

Needless to say, it is not enough to just say the words “information governance” and be immediately heard. It takes work to dive into your organization’s unique IG needs and see how you and your specific skills can benefit the organization. However, it is worth the effort as you benefit from increased visibility and can truly impact your organization for good.

Where should you start? The first thing every HIM professional should do is perform an internal audit of current practices. Identify places where your organization is using IG in healthcare effectively and identify gaps in policies, procedures and practices. It is important that your audit highlights both the good and bad so you can ensure you do not alienate your organization. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to ensure people get proper credit where credit is due. However, along with celebrating successes, do not be afraid to be radically honest with yourself and your organization when it comes to analyzing areas of weakness and need.

Once you complete an effective audit of your organization’s IG practices, you should identify opportunities where you could improve policies, reduce costs and ensure compliance. The next key step is to map these opportunities to your organization’s strategic initiatives. This step is often forgotten by many IG professionals.

As an example, if security and privacy are key goals for your organization, you can highlight how securing information leakage is an important IG initiative that would directly impact your organization’s goals. By mapping IG opportunities to your organization’s strategic initiatives, it places you in the ideal position to be heard by leaders in the organization.

When it comes to information governance in healthcare, the other benefit of doing an IG audit of your healthcare organization is that this audit can now serve as the road map for your IG strategy. With each opportunity mapped to your organization’s strategic goals and initiatives, you can more easily prioritize which IG challenge should be addressed first. Plus, you can use these mappings to communicate the value of IG to the larger organization and to get the buy-in needed from senior leadership.

Much of the work HIM professionals do is often seen as mundane and non-strategic by senior leadership. However, that perception can be altered if you approach IG in the right way and illustrate how using IG in healthcare is important to the organization’s success. Doing so is a great way to ensure your voice is heard and you have a seat at the table.

Want to learn more about winning strategies for advancing enterprise-wide IG? Join three IG leaders as they share their “Peer Perspectives” in this free webinar.

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