• Jun 02

    Versio Staff

    Data Governance is a Journey and a Goal

    by  Versio Staff

    What is Data Governance? You can go to ten different sources and get ten different answers. The definition of data governance is a moving target. With the definitions ranging widely from “a quality control discipline,” to “a governing body for creating and management of data policy,” even defining what it is can be a challenge.

    Currently, data governance is an emerging discipline, with its definition evolving daily. At its core however, data governance can be defined as a discipline designed to allow organizations to exercise control over the processes and methods used by data stewards and data custodians to manage and handle their data.

    Data governance currently can be thought of as a program made up of processes focused on data management that has a set of eight guiding principles:

    1. Integrity

      Data governance participants will practice integrity in their dealings with each other; they will be truthful and forthcoming when discussing drivers, constraints, options, and impacts for data-related decisions.

    2. Transparency

      Data governance and stewardship processes will exhibit transparency; it should be clear to all participants and auditors how and when data-related decisions and controls were introduced into the processes.

    3. Auditability

      Data-related decisions, processes, and controls subject to data governance must be auditable; they will be accompanied by documentation to support compliance-based and operational auditing requirements.

    4. Accountability

      Data governance will define accountabilities for cross-functional data-related decisions, processes, and controls.

    5. Stewardship

      Data governance will define accountabilities for stewardship activities that are the responsibilities of individual contributors, as well as accountabilities for groups of data stewards.

    6. Checks-and-Balances

      Data governance will define accountabilities in a manner that introduces checks-and-balances between cross-functional teams as well as between those who have the responsibility of creating, collecting, managing, and using the information. These are also defined for those who introduce standards and compliance requirements.

    7. Standardization

      Data governance will introduce and support standardization of enterprise data.

    8. Change Management

      Data governance will support proactive and reactive change management activities for reference data values and the structure/use of master data and metadata.

    What do you want it to accomplish?

    The first step in any data governance program is to define what it is you want to accomplish with the introduction and implementation of data governance. If you can’t answer this, then look to your controlling regulations (HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.) and start there with the initial goal of meeting regulatory needs.

    Some fairly universal goals for data governance that could also be considered are:

    1. Enable better decision-making
    2. Reduce operational friction
    3. Protect the needs of data stakeholders
    4. Train management and staff to adopt common approaches to data issues
    5. Build standard, repeatable processes
    6. Improve data security
    7. Decrease the risk of regulatory fines
    8. Reduce costs and increase effectiveness through coordination of efforts
    9. Ensure transparency of processes

    Once you have defined your goals, definition of the owners and custodians of your data assets and the data that requires this type of control will help frame the scope of your data governance policies.

    After you have your policies, you can then begin to align people, processes, and technology to meet your organizational data governance goals. Remember, as you are developing this discipline within your organization, measures and audits are going to allow you to continue the journey beyond the initial implementation.

    At Versio, we take PHI security very seriously. Our mission is to ensure that every patient has an accurate health record and that organizations can count on us to keep those records secure.

    If your organization is planning to transition to a new EHR, please contact us for a demonstration of our unique process. This will be time well spent and ultimately a huge benefit to your staff, your physicians, and the patients you serve. Contact us: sales@myversio.com or 253-277-0505

    For additional information regarding our service lines, visit www.myVersio.com

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