Data governance: What Health IT can learn from aviation

What can your health tech organization learn from the data quality challenges and solutions experienced in the aviation industry? Quite a bit.
data quality in healthcare

These days, data is everywhere. Whether it’s a computer used for work, a watch that tracks our fitness activities, or a smartphone used for everything, it’s easy to assume that data quantity is synonymous with data quality. 

Of course, the opposite is often true. In fact, when it comes to major industries with many moving parts – like healthcare – the sheer volume of information can easily become too much of a good thing. 

But that doesn’t have to be cause for concern. When it comes to health IT, there are valuable lessons to be learned from sectors that also manage large amounts of information for high-risk decision making. We explored those insights in our eBook, Lessons on data quality: What health IT can learn from 5 peer industries. Keep reading for an excerpt on what the aviation industry can teach health tech or click the image below to download the eBook now. 


Data quality challenge

The airline industry has historically been one of the most complex systems ever created by humans. But when airplanes began to generate terabytes upon terabytes of data with every flight, the ability to proactively access the information in a way that allowed for real-time feedback and improvements lagged behind. 

How the challenge was addressed

With Order 1375.1F, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established overarching standards for all FAA data. The order also created the position of Chief Data Officer, a Chief Data Office, and an Enterprise Information Management Steering Committee (EIMSC). Together, these stakeholders are responsible for managing data as a strategic asset. The EIMSC, specifically, is designed to be a cross-organizational group led by executives who can provide strategic decision- making authority throughout the FAA and the aviation industry as a whole.  

What healthcare can learn from the fix

The importance of data governance.

The airline industry is one of the best examples of an entire sector cooperating on data standards to improve customer service and reduce operating costs, all while remaining competitive. And, unlike the healthcare industry, airline data is aggregated from a myriad of sources and systems. With multiple companies and a variety of different aircraft models generating so much information, a strategic plan for centralizing and managing this material is key. Creating defined and specific roles that serve a cross-functional purpose also helps ensure data collection is deliberate and useful.  

With this in mind, consider the problem list. What was intended to be the front page of the EHR too often becomes a jumbled collection of duplicative, redundant, or irrelevant entries. But ad hoc problem list cleanup isn’t enough to address these issues. A detailed governance strategy is essential. Much like the FAA created clear roles and responsibilities for those in charge of data management, outlining a plan that assigns responsibility for problem list governance and maintenance can help make patient information more accurate and useful at the point of care and beyond.  

Ready for more valuable lessons healthcare and health IT can learn from other industries? Find them in the eBook here: 

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