Peer into the IG Crystal Ball: 2015 IG White Paper from AHIMA

By Kathy Downing, MA, RHIA, CHPS, PMP

If you have not yet taken a deep dive into the 2015 information governance white paper from Cohassett Associates and AHIMA, you should. The survey that provides the basis for the white paper examines the readiness of healthcare professionals to address the strategic and technical demands of implementing information governance (IG) in their organizations. I would argue this white paper is a bit of a crystal ball stealing a look into the future with the wisdom and insights of its 1260 respondents. This insight shows a shift in support, initiation, opportunity, and effort in IG in healthcare. As you know, advancing information governance is a multi-disciplinary endeavor that requires an enterprise-wide approach. The broad range skills and competencies, including leadership, are a focus of this research as well as indicators of what organizations have achieved in the startup of IG programs.

Glance into Information Governance Progress

Would it surprise you to hear that 36 percent of organizations reported a senior executive has been designated as the sponsor for IG? This number cannot be extrapolated to all of healthcare because we presume that those taking this survey are in some way engaged in IG activities—but that doesn’t stop this from being good news. As healthcare professionals work to move IG forward in their organizations this type of strategic support will enable success no matter the project.

The advancement of IG in healthcare holds the promise of cost savings, trusted information, enhanced patient safety, and safe use of information technology. Forty-four percent of survey respondents indicated that IG advancement has occurred in their organizations over the last 12 months. Thirteen percent of this group described their IG progress as significant. We believe that IG is an essential element of care coordination, population health, and even patient engagement, so this is a huge leap forward.

The Future—What’s In It for YOU?

Professional advancement is a key factor in job satisfaction. The IG effort has allowed healthcare professionals a platform to demonstrate their leadership, usefulness, and adaptability across the organization and outside of the walls of a singular department. Forty-three percent of respondents felt that their IG efforts afforded them the opportunity to be more visible and valuable to other departments and 39 percent felt that the IG efforts give them a path for professional advancement. Can the crystal ball show you the new roles coming such as chief information governance officer? This role is not out of reach with some risk taking, education, leadership, and IG successes.

If you don’t feel you have enough information to apply the principles and need a deep dive into application of IG, AHIMA has several offerings in 2016 to get our members practical application skills and education including the IG Boot Camps and Leadership Forum: Driving Information Governance.

Let the white paper help you imagine a future where IG is an integral part of every healthcare organization.

Kathy Downing ( is senior director, information governance at AHIMA.

Original source:
Downing, Kathy. "Peer into the IG Crystal Ball: 2015 IG White Paper from AHIMA" (Journal of AHIMA website), September 26, 2015.