As long as man has been able to write down personal information, data has been collected. The data has been used in medical practices to keep a history of individual patients, or to record the results of medical observations that may lead to cures and revolutionary medical methods. Over time, the ability to collect, maintain and retrieve that information has expanded exponentially. Along with the ability to collect it, so have the opportunities to mishandle the information. Regulations surrounding Data Security have increased dramatically. data governance in healthcare is the next natural progression. New in its concept, many companies are over-self-regulating, erring on the side of caution. The integrity of the data, access restrictions and government regulations are potentially affected by the new guidelines.

When your company is trying to establish its own Data governance best practices, remember to keep it simple. Over-complicating the process causes confusion and inconsistencies. Starting small and growing as the need arises makes the process easier to implement. A data governance committee can discuss needs and concerns and then begin to develop a set of governance guidelines for your company. Part of the governance practice is to ensure that quality data be gathered and stored. Consistent methods and practices need to be defined to improve the quality of the data gathered. When low quality or disparities in the data are discovered, the committee can revisit that part of the process, redesign or add to the method of governance to improve the process.

Data Security teams want to protect the data, reducing the number of people that have access to the information. The Data Governance team, while understanding the importance of privacy and security usually wants to loosen those regulations. Combining your Data Security Team and Data Governance Committee can bring balance to the table, swinging the pendulum of control back to center. When used properly, the data that is gathered can be used effectively in making decisions about the patient, a medical study or the future of the facility.

Another role the clinical process improvement committee needs to be a part of, is implementing more efficient ways to gather and store data. With bedside tablets, or computers the data is entered and retrieved with greater ease. When it is important to look at a family's medical history, or to study genetics involved, having easy access to the data is critical. Using it governance in healthcare organizations, not only makes storing the information simpler, it also makes the data readily available quickly, or at a different location.

Data governance in healthcare is a set of guidelines to assist your employees in making sure they follow data security regulations, while making the data more accessible. Creating a team to build the program can cut down on confusion, and improve the quality of the data gathered. It can save your company money, time and improve the quality of care provided by your facility. For more information regarding data governance visit healthcatalyst.