Health Information Governance

What is it?

Information governance provides a means of bringing together all the relevant legislation, guidance and evidence-based practice that applies to the handling of information. It offers a consistent way for people working in health and social care to deal with the many different legal provisions, guidance and professional codes of conduct that apply to handling personal health information. It is about setting a high standard for the handling of personal health information and giving services the tools they need to achieve that standard. Good information governance allows organisations and individuals to ensure that personal information, such as that contained in a healthcare record, is handled legally, securely, efficiently and effectively in order to deliver the best possible care to people who use health and social care services. It enables organisations to ensure that information is used ethically. This means showing, at all times, the proper respect for the person to whom the information relates.

What work is HIQA doing in this area?

Guidance has been developed on information governance for health and social care services in Ireland. This aims to support managers, regardless of the service, setting or location, to collect, analyse, use and share high quality personal health information legally, securely, effectively and efficiently. The guidance will be a useful resource for all staff but it will be aimed specifically at management level as a resource to implement structures to support good information governance practices in their organisations and support providers in becoming compliant. The guidance also provides detailed direction on how good information governance will support health and social care providers become compliant with the new requirements under the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare.

We have also produced two practical information guides entitled What you should know about Information Governance: a Guide for health and social care staff and What you should know about Data Quality: A guide for health and social care staff.

An interactive self-assessment tool aimed at management of organisations has also been developed. It asks a list of questions with a yes or no answer. It is designed to highlight areas where urgent action is required and where improvements can be made.

List of relevant work / resources

Useful resources published by the Authority in this area include: