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Have you ever thought about the vast loads of data that are generated and collected every day? Data is growing at a much faster pace than at any other point in human history. For the healthcare industry, the move to EHRs has created an avalanche of data. While this data supports better patient engagement and safer care, it must also be managed and protected through the cultivation of a data governance structure.

Every hospital organization has its unique culture. But when it comes to the challenges of data governance, many healthcare organizations are in similar situations. For example, is your data governance process document sitting in a digital folder, forgotten? Or is it front-of-mind, and being used daily?  Who is responsible for making sure it is a living process?  

Now more than ever, data governance needs to be a core component of your culture. We identified three factors to a successful long-term data governance to help you check in with your current practices: 

  1. Understand the Importance of Data Governance

Data governance processes should be more than just a document saved on a hard drive. Unless you have an effective data governance process in place, all that data is just noise. Start with this simple question: What data does your organization find most useful? Then, ensure you are gathering the right information. From there, build data governance processes that follow the entire lifecycle of data. 

  1. Process vs. Project

Does your organization consider data governance an IT project or organizational process? Projects and processes are fundamentally different. A project has a defined beginning, middle, and end, whereas a process is part of the operational fabric of your organization. A data governance process is the documented way that your organization gathers and manages data on a daily basis. Consider this process a continuous lifecycle requiring your oversight and management. 

  1. Ongoing Process Support

In the beginning, you’ll probably have a team focused on implementing your data governance culture process. Consider how you will support the process, once the implementation team is gone. It’s not enough to merely have a tool if your team does not know how to use it to its fullest potential. You will require a long-term data governance vision, supported by short-term goals.   

Data is the foundation of your EHR and vital to improving how you use this powerful tool. Data is continually flowing. The data governance process needs continuous support to ensure it is meaningful and actionable. Ultimately, data governance strategy should be part of your organization’s culture. 

Learning More 

Does your organization understand the importance of data governance?  When you look at your organization’s long-term vision, do you see data governance as a living process?  If this post has piqued your interest and you want to learn more – download our white paper.  It talks about these challenges and shares solutions. 

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