a group of people discussing something in an office setting, information governance initiativeWhen healthcare leaders think about information governance, they often think about it in a clinical context in terms of improving patient care, reducing variation, and so on. However, there is almost always a revenue driver behind information governance.

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A failure to properly govern data can negatively impact a healthcare organization’s revenue cycle. In fact, recent survey results indicate that two-thirds of healthcare organizations use more than one system for revenue cycle management, and they tend to experience more issues with denials, impacting the bottom line. Clearly, there is a need for governed data. So if you are starting an information governance initiative, what do you need to consider? Here’s a look.

1. Find a burning issue

An important first step is to find a “burning issue” in your organization. This is something that is critical. Why is it important to find this burning issue? That way, the organization will be committed to attacking it, and you can hopefully avoid some of the burnout that happens with other projects. Once stakeholders see the value, they are more likely to continue working to solve it.

One way to do this is to identify a cross-functional opportunity. Even if the problem you’re tackling has a narrow focus, if it’s cross-functional, you will positively impact more areas throughout the organization with your efforts.

2. Find the right people

Every project needs a leader, and to make information governance successful, you need a leader with passion. It’s ideal if someone on the business or operations side leads a governance initiative instead of someone in IT. While IT often drives a lot of these initiatives, a lot of the critical decisions that need to be made will be those that IT is not in a position to spearhead. Therefore, IT should be in more of a (critical) supporting role.

It’s also important to assemble a working group of stakeholders. These are people who are impacted by your problem – they see the pain – and therefore, have the motivation to tackle it.

3. Look for quick wins

As previously mentioned, it’s good to start with a cross-functional area, even if it has a narrow focus. You don’t want to start too big. You will often have a trade-off between picking something large and important versus picking something that is achievable to get results. Those large projects are often organizationally or politically difficult to implement.

The right combination for a project is to choose something that has sponsorship, has a clear ROI and business importance, but is also something that will help you achieve quick wins so that you keep going.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about information governance and its impact on revenue, you can listen to this webinar we produced in conjunction with Health Data Management magazine.

In addition, you can learn more about the challenges with revenue cycle management by downloading this survey produced with HIMSS Analytics.

Kathy Sucich
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Kathy Sucich

Kathy is senior content & communications manager at Dimensional Insight. In her role, Kathy directs content production and manages media and analyst relations. She graduated from Dartmouth College and is currently pursuing her MBA in health sector management at Boston University.
Kathy Sucich
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