More in Common Than We Thought!

By: In: Healthcare On: Jun 11, 2014

Recent research underwritten by Iron Mountain and conducted separately by Cohasset Associates and Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP has proven what we’ve suspected all along: when it comes to information management and governance, at its heart, there is no significant difference in the challenges faced by all industry verticals, or even between North America and Western Europe.

This research was validated by a series of videotaped conversations that I had last week with Linda Kloss, a preeminent authority on Healthcare information management and CEO emeritus of AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association).  After discussing the fundamentals of information governance, we confirmed that Healthcare definitely has more in common with other business types than we once thought.  You can watch the videos (episodes 31-35), which are a combination of general observations and recommendations, in addition to some Healthcare specific topics.

Regardless of the services or products you deliver, you all have to deal with the volume, velocity, and variety of information that you create or receive in your business units.  While you may have different regulatory and operational requirements for your records, and these are not trivial, you still have to cope with mounds of legacy data and the cost to store it, social media usage, mobile devices, the Cloud, and employees who are unaware of their information responsibilities – just to name a few issues.  And it is not going to get easier; at the recent Managing Electronic Records (MER) Conference, more than one presenter estimated that on average you will experience a 40% increase in information in 2014 alone.

To get a clearer picture of where certain verticals deviate from the broader base of industries, Iron Mountain is underwriting a series of Cohasset Benchmark reports for Healthcare, Financial Services and Insurance, Oil and Gas, Utilities, Life Sciences, and the United States Federal Government, in order to supplement the previously published and popular all-industry 2013|2014 Information Governance Benchmarking Survey report.  For each vertical report, we are creating a companion piece to recommend “dial mover” action items for areas lacking in performance from the all-industry survey results.

While Linda and I believe that our premise of “we have more in common than not”  is valid, each industry is at a different level of maturity in certain aspects of information governance, in part based on their unique obligations and interpretations of the risk and value of their information assets.  In the newly published 2014 Information Governance in Healthcare report, this is evident in the statistics related to the development of Records and Information Management (RIM) or Information Governance (IG) programs.  Only 43% of Healthcare respondents have initiated defensible information lifecycle practices through formal programs.  This is nearly half of the 87% of all-industry respondents’ results.

In considering why this is the case, it would seem that the drivers over the last dozen years for the development of a RIM or IG program by non-Healthcare industries were primarily the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) and the amended rules to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  During this same time period, the Healthcare industry’s attention was dedicated to grappling with the demands of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) program initiatives.  As a result, we see 97% of Healthcare respondents saying that they strongly and mostly agree that their private, confidential, and sensitive information is protected versus only 42% of the all-industry respondents claiming the same.   This punctuates the fact that even though all organizations need to govern private, confidential and sensitive information – and the means for doing so may be similar – the compelling business need may differ.

At the end of the day, the commonalities for information governance across industry verticals abound.  As such, there are many resources for you to take advantage of on your journey.  Make your first stop along the way

← Reduce, Reuse….Repurpose Getting your IG Journey Underway: Key Findings from the 2014 Benchmarking White Paper on Information Governance in Healthcare →

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About the author

Sue Trombley

Sue Trombley, Managing Director of Thought Leadership at Iron Mountain, has more than 25 years of information governance consulting experience. Prior to her current role, Trombley led Iron Mountain’s Consulting group responsible for business development, managing a team of subject matter experts, and running large engagements. Trombley holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and recently was certified as an Information Government Professional. She sits on the AIIM Board, the University of Texas at Austin of School of Information Advisory Council, and is President of the Boston ARMA Chapter. She is Iron Mountain’s representative on the newly formed Information Governance Initiative and is frequent speaker at association events.