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The importance of Information Governance is being realized across all industries. While there are some common aspects of Information Governance that are common to all industries, still information governance cannot be applied in a â€œcookie-cutterâ€ fashion. That is, there are certain characteristics or aspects of Information Governance that are unique to a given industry or discipline. And even within the same industry, a good information governance program must be tailored to fit the unique needs of each organization.
The health care industry is no different. It is undergoing comprehensive transformational change. Consequently, health care professionals are faced with new regulations and requirements that make effective information governance essential. Quick access to complete, comprehensive and accurate information is essential to the goal of healthcare services, for today and tomorrow. Healthcare providers are faced with the reality that information is a critical asset that must be managed in a way that optimizes safe, cost-effective and high quality care to the patient, while at the same time meeting the providerâ€™s administrative and financial needs, reducing risk, and increasing availability for business needs such as analytics and for use on the health information exchange. Of course, the health care provider must do all of this while at the same time ensuring that it is operating ethically, will be able to quickly and completely respond to e-discovery requests and holds, and that it is operating within the confines of both federal and state laws in all regards.
Information Governance initiates in the health care industry have been studied for more than a decade by a number of organizations and associations. A few of these organizations that have become industry leaders in advancing Information Governance in the healthcare industry in the United States over the past decade.
Assume you are not a doctor and that you do not have â€œmedical trainingâ€ per se. Rather, you have a Mastersâ€™ Degree in Business Administration. In addition, you have a degree in Information Management. By coincidence, upon receiving your MBA you applied for and received a job in the records department at your local hospital. Over the years, you have advanced through the ranks, and have worked in various departments including finance, records management, billing, accounting, marketing, and IT. Your employer, â€œCITY GENERAL HOSPITALâ€, has no â€œformalâ€ information governance program, although it has been dabbling with the idea of company-wide information governance.
You have just been named Chief Financial Officer at your organization. You have agreed to chair the information governance committee that will be responsible for designing and implementing a â€œformalâ€ information governance program for the organization.
You have put together an Information Governance Committee (or â€œTEAMâ€) consists of representatives from health information management, (HIM), human resources, staff from the business office, accounting, risk management, legal, finance, IT, quality and compliance areas, as
well as representatives from clinical areas including nursing staff as well as physicians, radiology and other diagnostic testing.
Your team has had only one organizational meeting. At that initial meeting, the team was asked to do two things. One was to identify what each team member perceives as worthy goals of the information governance program, and secondly, to identify areas that are in immediate need of improvement, from their own background and perspective. They team returned the following:
The goal of the information governance program should include but not be limited to the following:
1. Developing processes to ensure better coordination of care throughout the entire organization;
2. Maintain a competitive advantage in the geographical regions served;
3. Ensuring that the organization is analytics-driven;
4. Improved performance and outcomes;
5. Becoming nimble enough to respond quickly and accurately to information requests related to patient care and diagnosis, legal holds, e-discovery and litigation, and for accountability and auditing;
6. Develop a viable retention and destruction schedule for active and inactive patient information;
7. Improve security and protect sensitive data while at the same time allowing necessary access to eliminate impediments for staff that make it difficult to accomplish their job duties; and,
8. Increase the accuracy of information related to outcomes, and financial leadership to ensure the organization will meet or exceed its financial goals.
At its initial meeting, your newly formed Information Governance Committee, after some brainstorming and collaboration produced the following list, which is by no means complete, but which was identified by your team members as â€œhighâ€ on their list of problems facing the organization which the team members believed could be resolved and/or minimized through effective information governance:
1. A number of serious errors that adversely affect patient safely resulted from inadequate user training on how to use the system, as well as laziness of staff in documenting and charting;
2. Inability to capture information necessary for required reporting from the electronic health records (HER);
3. Inaccurate and incomplete release of information for litigation and business purposes that had resulted from poor systems integration and improper data retention policies;
4. Issues associated with a high rate of patient matching errors in master patient database;
5. Need for updating access controls that ensured appropriate security levels for those caring for patients and those having access to patient records for purposes of billing, diagnostics and reporting, and;
6. Need for better security of protected health information in order to comply with stricter regulatory requirements.
Ensure to cover the context above on the slides.
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