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AHIMA’s Assessment Tool Valuable for Healthcare IG


As I have been continuing to work in the information governance area as it relates to healthcare, I recently came across an interesting development.

Some of my previous blog posts have covered the difference between Information Governance and Data Governance and some of the players in the field, including the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) – specifically in the healthcare space and their efforts in the information governance arena.

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Since those posts, I’ve recently had a few conversations with the IG Advisors arm of the association and learned they have introduced a new tool for measuring an organization’s maturity with regard to their Information Governance (IG) Program. This tool is called IGHealthRate(TM), and it’s a fairly robust tool for determining not only the current maturity level of an organization but also providing some insights on steps the organization could take to progress forward on the maturity curve.

I’ve always believed that before any change can occur one should clearly define a Vision of where they would like to be, regardless of where they may actually be currently. An assessment tool like IGHealthRate(TM) is a great mechanism for understanding where you are and for forming a solid picture of where you would like to be.

AHIMA’s assessment tool is reflective of most maturity models in that it uses five levels of maturity they have identified as At Risk, Aware, Aspirational, Aligned and Actualized. It then uses its own framework as described in their IG Toolkit to evaluate an organization across all the “pieces,” or what they call Competencies, that a fully robust IG Program possesses and, through surveys and interviews, “scores” the organization’s maturity against each of these dimensions. They call this the Information Governance Adoption Model (IGAM)(TM) and the Competencies they identify are: IG Structure, Strategic Alignment, Enterprise Info Mgmt, Data Governance, IT Governance, Analytics, Privacy and Security, Legal and Regulatory, Awareness and Adherence, and IG Performance. From there, a roadmap can be defined by the organization for how best to evolve within each of these dimensions to move closer to its Vision State.

If you are interested in establishing (or improving) an IG Program, AHIMA’s IGHealthRate(TM) is a good first step to consider. It requires a minimal investment and its results can help build a business case for pursuing and maturing the IG Program.

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Mark Steinbacher

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