Leading the Way to Quality Data

By: In: Healthcare On: Mar 27, 2017
Leading the Way to Quality Data

Having worked in Health Information for over 39 years, I recently had an opportunity to speak with Health Information students at Cuyahoga Community College. The theme of my talk were the changes I have seen within our profession and how Information Governance plays a key role in their future.

Reviewing the new technologies and regulations that we as HIM professional have either implemented or enforced over these years, nothing can be more impactful than the Electronic Health Record. As I have frequently been quoted as saying “ I have experienced more change in the past 7 years of my career than I saw in the first 32” IT’S SO TRUE.

Healthcare has gone from a paper based clinical document to an electronic data base that continues to grow at a rate of almost 50% per year. Many of the tasks we have historically been responsible for in our career have changed or even been eliminated. The fact remains—the underlying premise of our profession is that we are the gatekeepers to data integrity and quality. We did it in the paper world and most carry it forward in the electronic era. Yes it’s more complex but we can do it.

Each of us holds tremendous value in our organizations because with the implementation of the electronic record comes unintended consequences. It is my contention that this explosion of data has created gaps in data integrity. Data is a key asset that must be used to make many strategic organizational decisions. Errors in data contribute to wrong decisions. Information Governance is the process that will improve data quality and integrity.

As I concluded my talk with the students I reminded them they have tremendous opportunities to be part of the future and drive the information Governance process wherever they decide to work at.

I will be attending the Healthcare Compliance Association national convention in National Harbor Maryland from March 26-29. Please feel to stop by our Iron Mountain booth (#428) to talk about Data Integrity and Information Governance.

To all my peers—Have a great HIP week!


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About the author

James White

Jim White has 39 years of progressive Health Information/Hospital Management experience. Prior to Iron Mountain, his most recent position was Corporate Director of Health Information Services at University Hospitals of Cleveland Health System for over 19 years. Jim has been a college instructor teaching Health Information and Project Management courses at several colleges as well as serving as Interim Program Director of Health Information Technology at Lakeland Community College in Ohio. He also served as a HIM consultant for a skilled nursing center and adult behavioral health center. Jim is especially proud of his work in mentoring over 30 students in Health Information and received the Ohio Health Information “Ambassador to Education Award” in 2007 from his state association. During Jim’s spare time he enjoys volunteering and all sorts of outdoor activities.