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    Nine best practices in healthcare IT governance



    While definitions of “healthcare IT governance” may vary, the definition I prefer is what’s used by the IT Governance Institute regarding IT governance. It refers to the “leadership, organizational structures and processes to ensure that the organization's IT sustains and extends the organization's strategies and objectives.”

    Unlike many others industries, like technology or manufacturing, healthcare does not have the same breadth or depth of experience in IT governance. As a result, many healthcare organizations may lack the best-practice IT governance principles, guidelines, and processes necessary for success in today’s technology-dependent, budget-constrained environment.

    If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, your organization is adhering to best practices in IT governance. If not, it’s time to make some changes.

    • Are our IT strategies, processes, and initiatives consistently aligned with the overarching strategies of our entire enterprise?

    • Are we investing in the right IT projects at the right time—not too soon, not too late—to ensure that our organization is well-served?

    • Are all key organizational stakeholders consistently and properly informed regarding our IT efforts?

    • Are we sufficiently staffed with high-quality talent—or do we have rapid enough access to external resources—to meet our current and future IT demands?

    • Are we consistently meeting our IT time, budget, and quality standards?

    • Are our internal clients and users satisfied with our IT service and results?

    • Are the details of our IT strategy properly tethered and aligned with the details of our strategic plan?

    Proper IT governance is not just a “feel-good” exercise, but critical to the mission and success of your organization. As Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross documented in their seminal book, IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, firms with superior IT governance have 25% higher profits than firms with poor IT governance, given the same strategic objectives.

    IT governance sets the tenor, tone, and execution necessary to ensure that all of the above questions, and more, are answered not only to the satisfaction of your C-suite leadership but also to the benefit of your employees and patients. Considering that IT now touches every possible facet of a healthcare organization’s operations—from parking and maintenance to clinical care—it’s vital to adhere to industry-regarded best practices in IT governance.

    Next: The Best Practices

    Mark Jahn
    Mark Jahn, a consultant at Freed Associates has a background in healthcare analytics, ICD-10, IT strategy, IT governance, package ...


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