Information Governance (IG)
Introducing our IG Strategy
The management and sharing of information or data, especially when it involves patients, is a critical responsibility for all organisations involved in healthcare. This is why we are working with Information Governance Services (IGS), one of the leading consultants in this area, to ensure we adopt the highest standards of information governance (IG), data protection and data privacy. Our aim is to create an IG framework with the appropriate checks and balances, that can accommodate changes in data protection regulation and, in the case of multi-national projects, allow access to data across different jurisdictions.
The increased application of AI in the diagnosis and treatment of MSK conditions has elevated the importance of patient data, but it can only be of value to researchers and clinicians if it is of the right quality and easy to access. ORUK aims to become a champion of good data practices within orthopaedics, whilst encouraging the use of data to drive research and innovation. The protocols that ORUK is developing with IGS will also cover funded research projects. Applicants for ORUK grant funding will need to show that they have appropriate IG processes and help will be provided if required.
According to Taj Sallamuddin, an Information Lawyer with Information Governance Services, ‘We operate in a world in which data has been described as ‘the new oil’, but this also means that unless organisations get their act together when it comes to their use of data, they risk being left behind. Information Governance has to be built into the core of an organisation, with the infrastructure, processes and governance in place to protect people’s privacy and give them control over how their data is used.’
One of the most common challenges for healthcare organisations is gaining and maintaining patients’ consent for the use of their personal data. IGS will be working with ORUK to streamline the consent process, enabling researchers to access high-quality data, whilst ensuring that patients are confident that their personal data is being used appropriately and safely. According to Taj Sallamuddin, ‘So long as organisations operate ethically and transparently, data protection should not be a barrier. Numerous patient surveys have shown that people are happy for healthcare providers and charities to use their personal data to help society in general. We saw this during COVID when people in their tens of thousands agreed to participate in clinical trials. They don’t mind that data is being used to do good things and for the greater good.’