Train Your IG Workforce Now

By Barb Glondys, MA, RHIA

Although health information management professionals are still wrapping their heads around IG, it is critical to begin involving and training your organization’s workforce community in the principles and practices of IG sooner rather than later. The Pocket Glossary of Health Information Management and Technology refers to the HITECH definition of “workforce” as “employees, volunteers, trainees, and other persons whose conduct, in the performance of work for a covered entity or business associate, is under the direct control of such covered entity or business associate, whether or not they are paid by the covered entity or business associate (45 CFR 160.103 2013).” So it follows that a healthcare organization’s IG education and training program should include employees, volunteers, and trainees, and should also include physicians, consultants, and all business associates. The benefits of providing a robust program to educate the entire workforce about IG are numerous:

  • Demonstrates commitment at the top of the organization to the goal of high quality information
  • Fosters a climate of valuing information throughout the organization
  • Shows interest in employees’ and others’ professional development in this critical area
  • Creates a knowledgeable and motivated workforce that will contribute to innovative strategies that enhance information quality and use
  • Instills workforce pride in the quality of information services provided
  • Increases efficiency in processes, technology use, and methods resulting in increased value of IG efforts
  • Makes employees more committed to the organization as they are provided with learning opportunities in this expanding area of healthcare
  • Enhances the reputation of the organization as focused on information governance throughout
  • Helps discover new leaders in IG

Numerous resources can be found to help develop education and training programs. A few are listed in the AHIMA IG Toolkit 1.0:

Some ideas on how to begin educating the workforce include:

  • Post and distribute AHIMA’s IG Infographic, both Cohasett/AHIMA IG in Healthcare Benchmarking White Papers (2014) (2015) in public areas, cafeteria, announcement boards, physician lounges, etc.
  • Give short presentations on individual IG Principles for Healthcare and competencies at standing committee and organization-wide meetings.
  • Announce IG “wins” at executive and clinical committee meetings.
  • Encourage completion of PulseRate at clinical and administrative meetings.
  • Conduct discussion groups to analyze departmental and organization-wide PulseRate scores.
  • Create an IG Mentoring program for advanced intensive education and training, including off-site conferences, to employees with interest and aptitude in IG.
  • Conduct brainstorming sessions at department and committee meetings to identify areas of improvement in information management.

A corporate climate that values high quality information at all levels of the workforce is critical in today’s competitive healthcare market. How you are educating your workforce in IG?

Barb Glondys ( is a director of HIM practice excellence at AHIMA.

Original source:
Glondys, Barbara. "Train Your IG Workforce Now" (Journal of AHIMA website), February 18, 2016.