February 2017 | Volume 22 | No. 1
AHIMA FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM PG 10 | RECENT GRADS SHARE ADVICE PG 11 | HIM AWARENESS CAMPAIGN PG 12
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Leveraging IG to Meet HIM Challenges in 2017
In recent months, many HIM leaders have made the case for
information governance (IG) to the C-suite—specifically, that
IG can help their organizations improve the quality and safety
of patient care, mitigate their compliance and security risks,
and achieve greater efficiencies.
So how can HIM professionals continue to build on this
momentum in 2017? In honor of Information Governance
Month this February, several HIM professionals and IG experts
share their thoughts on implementing IG.
Creating the Value Proposition
“HIM needs to say we are the owners of information
governance,” says Cindy Zak, MS, RHIA, PMP, FAHIMA,
executive director over HIM, Yale New Haven Health, New
Haven, CT. “Managing information is our body of knowledge,
and now we need to transition to governing information.”
In 2016, Yale New Haven Health was one of 11 organizations
to pilot AHIMA’s new IG maturity model, known as
IGHealthRate™. During the pilot, Zak sought buy-in from key
leaders of the medical staff and on the organization’s legal and
regulatory teams. “I talked one-on-one with leaders I thought
could influence and understand the value of IG,” she says. She
found that these stakeholders clearly recognized the importance
of IG in the current healthcare environment. “Now that we are
an information-based industry, information is an asset, and the
quality and integrity of that information is critical to the success
of an organization,” she says.
Zak says HIM professionals need to be advocates for IG and help
prioritize their organization’s focus areas. “There is so much to
do, so you have to determine what is most important,” Zak says.
One IG priority at Yale New Haven Health this year is leveraging
data to improve patient engagement. For example, leaders are
adopting a customer- and patient-focused approach to their
revenue cycle and billing process. They also plan to offer more
health management resources through their patient portal.
Instituting a Formal IG Program
When launching IG programs across the enterprise, HIM
professionals “have to jump in and take the lead,” says Jaime
James, MHA, RHIA, senior director, HIMS, Banner Health,
Phoenix, AZ. At Banner, HIM leaders are working closely
with the IT and informatics teams to bring together various
components of IG into a more coordinated IG program.
To make the case for a formal IG program, James and her
HIM colleagues tapped into an existing enterprise information
management forum, where they discussed how IG could be