Accountable Care Organization Solutions are becoming more and more common in the healthcare industry. An Accountable care organization is a healthcare organization that ties its payments to the quality of care. As such cost of care is a direct determinant of many variables that can be measured in real time. An accountable care organization is formed when a group of healthcare practitioners (not necessarily all doctors) comes together. A more official definition is given below
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an ACO is “an organization of health care practitioners that agrees to be accountable for the quality, cost, and overall care of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in the traditional fee-for-service program who are assigned to it. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Data Governance Defined
Data governance is a concept that every industry seeks to master. In the healthcare organization, any worthwhile project or initiative would be more successful if data most especially big data is used. This is one of the ways data governance plays a role in every facet of the healthcare industry. A good data governance approach can spread across different platforms of the accountable care organization both horizontally and vertically and even help with communications to outside accountable care organizations. A data governance program is a program or system that sets rules and standards for Data related matters ranging from small to big. Data governance helps answer questions like,
- Which internal databases have this information?
- Who in the organization has access to it?
- Who outside the organization has access to it?
- Does the organization have defined parameters?
- Are the structures of sales data already defined?
- What is the quality of the source data?
- Are there any metrics around data sizes?
Relationship Between Data Governance Team and Accountable Care Organizations
The data governance team is responsible for providing solutions for the project at hand and any projects that come up. They are responsible for providing solutions in forms of data for infrastructure and services. They are also responsible for providing guidance and governance to the entire organization on data related issues. They are the advocates for data within and outside the healthcare organization. A data governance team should not be mistaken for an accountable care organization. It is also important to have a flexible data governance team structure for the council. A good practice is to follow a top-down approach where the leadership of the data governance team drives the governance while the business analysts and Data analysts implement the policies. The Data analysts should also be responsible for providing the necessary feedback to the leadership.
Data Governance Framework
A data governance team is also responsible for setting the data governance framework for the healthcare organization. This framework can come in form of software with already set templates or it could be built from scratch. Whichever the case the data framework should be customized to meet the healthcare organization’s specific needs. The data Framework should also include strategic planning tasks and rules that would guide its uses. Some of these rules help users to determine which data is needed in a specific situation and what are the guidelines to be followed. A data framework also helps monitor and resolve any data issues existing and new ones that may arise. The framework also helps promote the value of data assets. There are five data integration patterns that experts have identified and built templates around, based on business use cases as well as particular integration patterns. This will be discussed more extensively in another article. Also, more information on this can be found on Health Catalyst.
Communication of a Data Governance Team
A data governance team has a huge role to play in a healthcare organization and so there should be proper communication within the team and with the organization and any necessary external parties. Proper communication ensures that the mission of the data team aligns with that of the accountable care organization and the entire organization at large. The mission of the team needs to be communicated clearly, constantly and succinctly to the whole organization and the team needs to place its members at strategic points around the organization to always advocate for the goals. The mission of the data governance team should be common knowledge to all members of the organization.
Focus Areas of a Data Governance Team
A data governance team can focus on many areas and different projects but it is important that the team chose to work on the focus areas that provide the most value to the healthcare organization. There is usually always an ongoing initiative within the healthcare organization that’s overseen by the data governance team. Every now and then, a large-scale initiative can be rolled out to help the organization push forward, overcome a crisis, or jumpstart a huge strategic change. Some major focus areas that a data governance team can champion are:
Accountable Care Organization Solutions
A data governance team can work towards assisting the existing care organization to provide viable solutions to any payment issues or problems that might arise.
Data Security and Privacy and Protection
Every healthcare organization should have compliance and regulations requirements put in place to ensure the integrity of the data. Data security is a big issue in every industry and a data governance team should have ongoing programs that checks and re-checks the data security systems put in place within the healthcare organizations’ data system.
Data Architecture and Integration
A data management team can seek to achieve operational efficiency by simplifying Data Integration Architecture components such as Data Modelling, Master Data modeling, Service Oriented Architecture etc.