For many years now, healthcare organizations have been transitioning from paper-based healthcare records to digital systems. The digitalization of records has remained a top priority whether it is a government health agency, a local nursing center or a small outpatient center. For modern-day healthcare organizations, proper maintenance of electronic patient records has become a business-critical objective. Microsoft SharePoint, renowned for its document storage and management ability, provides an ideal platform to store and organize all patient records in a way that the information is readily available and stays protected from internal or external security breaches.
However, the volume of data collected in healthcare systems quickly grows out of control. Without the proper control and insight into this critical data, the healthcare processes suffer, storage costs rise and the chances of compliance failures increase. In short, the lack of proper information management processes puts the organization’s long-term success at risk! To counter such scenarios, information governance is a must for healthcare organizations. In this blog, we would explore the various facets of information governance in healthcare.
What is Information Governance for Healthcare?
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), defines Information Governance (IG) 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.”
IG in healthcare allows organizations to address their data-related challenges, such as ensuring full confidentiality and security of their patient’s data. It also allows ready access to such information for future references. Therefore, in a way, IG supports the interests of both the organization as well as the patients.
How does Information Governance help Healthcare Organizations?
- Helps meet compliance requirements: By implementing a health information governance program, organizations can keep themselves ahead of the compliance requirements. Healthcare organizations need to comply with increasingly strict regulations that mandate protection of patient’s data and ensure that it is reliable and accurate. The main regulation in place is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which pertains to the treatment, payment, and operations of healthcare service providers and all their business associates who can access the patient information. To ensure HIPAA compliance, healthcare organizations need to put into motion advanced IG practices for all their critical healthcare information stored in the SharePoint environment.
- Ensures integrity of data: Having an IG program in place helps healthcare organizations ensure the quality and consistency of data. The accurate and tangible information is essential for being able to maintain confidentiality and privacy of patient’s personal information, reduce risks of compliance failures and regulatory penalties, improve the quality of clinical services and patient experiences, increase operational efficiency and control data storage costs.
- Protects Privacy & Security of Data: A Black Book Market Research study found that 93 percent of U.S. Healthcare organizations surveyed were breached in the past couple of years and this cost the industry $4 billion. As a result, healthcare organizations must stay prepared to manage and protect their patient and business information. Healthcare patient records are at maximum risk due to their value on the black market. By adopting a well-crafted IG program, organizations instill good information management habits. They not only protect the critical information but also form a basis for the purge of unnecessary, duplicative or little-used data away from the SharePoint systems without providing scopes for any breaches.
- Accuracy while dealing with external partners: The lifecycle of information often takes it beyond the four walls where it was first created. Some patient records and business information might be shared with the external partners. IG provides the basis for preserving the integrity and accuracy of the information that is being shared and exchanged with external partners.
How to Create a Successful IG Program?
According to AHIMA research, more than 85 percent of healthcare professionals recognized the need for IG practices at their workplace. As a first step towards safeguarding healthcare information, organizations need to adopt a powerful solution that allows them to govern, monitor and control all the intricate information lying across the SharePoint farms, servers and business applications.
AgreeYa’s Site Administrator enables the SharePoint administrators to discover and understand their SharePoint environment better. By implementing Site Administrator for SharePoint, healthcare organizations can get an in-depth view of all data across their servers, farms and business applications. It provides a simple dashboard that can be accessed to ensure that the confidential and important healthcare information including patient’s data and business-critical data remains secured.
Contact us to learn more about Site Administrator and its features.