Holistic Data Governance and Epic – Four High-Value Use Cases Beyond COVID-19

Last Published: Aug 05, 2021 |
Richard Cramer
Richard Cramer

Chief Strategist, Healthcare and Life Sciences

holistic data governance in healthcare

The last few years have seen enterprise data governance as a top data management priority for healthcare organizations. And data governance has become more critical specifically for provider organizations with the COVID-19 crisis as new sources of data proliferate, the scope of self-service analytics expands dramatically, and executive decision-making evolves overnight to rely on reporting and analytics that are reliable and trustworthy.

Prior to COVID-19, the driving motivation for healthcare providers pursuing enterprise data governance was the growth of self-service business intelligence and analytics within the business and clinical areas. This self-service was a natural consequence of the availability of rich clinical data from mature electronic health record implementations, along with a desire for departments and care delivery to become more data-driven in their decision-making.

However, the large expansion of people working with data in a distributed and independent fashion creates the opportunity for confusion from different interpretations of the same data and lack of clarity into where data comes from, what it means, and how it is used. Hence the need for data governance.

Data governance is a coordinated enterprise effort that protects and optimizes the business value of the organization’s assets—its data assets. The goal of data governance is not just to clarify who “owns” data but also to optimize its value. The data itself is merely the means to the desired end of improved business and clinical performance.

Informatica® defines data governance as “A discipline to create repeatable and scalable data management policies, processes, and standards for the effective use of data.”


Solving Meaningful Problems

As with other business functions, data governance requires people, policies, and processes with a clear way to measure success, compliance, and organizational effectiveness. The success of a data governance initiative requires more than just great software—it requires the knowledge and expertise in how to apply the capabilities of the software to solve meaningful problems and deliver business and clinical value to the enterprise.

EHR vendors—with Epic as a great example—have been working tirelessly to incorporate new data elements, workflows, reports, and analytics to support the needs of their hospital clients to both respond to the COVID-19 crisis and to recover routine operations when practical. The volume of changes to the Epic application(s), frequency of updates, and critical nature of these enhancements to support operations and executive decision-making define a very focused, high-value use case for enterprise data governance.

For this reason, Informatica has partnered with Prominence Advisors, who have deep expertise in data governance and Informatica’s data governance solutions, along with detailed knowledge of the Epic suite of applications and capabilities.

While the COVID-19 use case is both compelling and highly visible at all levels of the enterprise, holistic data governance is about more than solving for a single use case. It is also about more than governing data from a single application, even when that application is as comprehensive and diverse as Epic. For providers that have made a near-total commitment to Epic—and doing everything “the Epic way”—we know the following things to be true:


a. Epic is NEVER the only application in the enterprise
b. Every enterprise has a vast number of data sources in addition to Epic—both internal and external
c. Data from Epic is used broadly across the enterprise for reporting and analytics, often by analysts and others who do not have any access to the Epic applications themselves

Informatica offers an Enterprise Data Governance solution as part of its Intelligent Data Platform™ that can effectively govern Epic data and seamlessly include the broader data landscape of any healthcare system. Combining Informatica’s solution, which includes Axon™ Data Governance, Enterprise Data Catalog and Data Quality, while partnering with Prominence, can ensure you hit the ground running with use and adoption that delivers meaningful value to the enterprise quickly.

Looking beyond the immediate use case supporting COVID-19 for providers who have implemented Epic, there are four additional use cases that deliver rapid, tangible value:

  • Support self-service and deliver a certified, trusted source of truth – Make it easy for analysts and other data consumers to find and use the preferred and certified source for each data element or analytic product.
  • Connect business context to technical metadata and logic – Incorporate Epic-standard terms, definitions, and metrics as part of your catalog and glossary to make them easy to find and understand, thereby encouraging broader adoption.
  • Centralize information and knowledge to increase enterprise data literacy – Increase the data literacy of report writers, system analysts, data consumers, and anyone else needing to better understand their data through transparency and a shared language, all available in a single platform.
  • Ensure impact analysis, lineage, and reporting transparency – Quickly and accurately assess the downstream impact to reports, dashboards, and other data consumers of new and depreciated fields that occur as part of Epic’s quarterly updates.

Informatica and Prominence Advisors have created a white paper that describes in detail each of these use cases, highlights how Informatica’s Intelligent Data Platform provides the data governance capabilities required to meet the needs of the use case, and articulates the business and clinical value that results. The white paper is available here.

First Published: Oct 21, 2020