Data Quality and Governance

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.

—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Healthcare leaders and quality improvement (QI) teams rely on having the best possible evidence on which to base decisions and evaluate quality and performance. The best possible evidence requires effective and accurate analytical tools able to provide understanding and insight into quality and performance based on data. In other words, without good data, analytics and the evidence it provides is likely to be suspect. Having good data for analytics and QI begins with effective management of data. This chapter will focus on how IT and QI teams can work together to ensure that a data infrastructure is available to support quality and performance improvement teams with the high-quality and highly accessible analytics they need.

Data is not a static asset within a healthcare organization (HCO). People unfamiliar with how data is managed in an organization may only consider data to be something that is entered into a computer system and sits in a database until subsequently reported on for management purposes. In addition to being a very valuable asset to an HCO, however, data is in fact a very dynamic asset within an HCO. As new information systems are adopted, and analytical requirements evolve, the underlying infrastructure and management of data must also evolve. The four main activities associated with maintaining a data system that supports the needs of an HCO ...

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