Information Technology Governance in Healthcare

They reviewed video was attached to an article by Cattell, Chilukuri, & Levy (2013) dedicated to the issue of big data in pharmaceutical research and development. The presenter—Sam Marwaha, Director of McKinsey & Company—primarily stresses that modern technologies change the area of research and development in health care fundamentally because the nature of information, its sources, and processing techniques are becoming dramatically different from what they were a few decades ago.

Before, reliable sources of information were the results of randomized trials posted in peer-reviewed articles; today, a lot of data is available for health care researchers in terms of various aspects of customers, such as demographical and health records. The presenter also emphasizes that it used to be sufficient to receive approval from the FDA to launch a medication, for example, but today’s producers have to face massive feedback and convince their potential customers that using the medication is beneficial.

This abundance of data provides many opportunities for improving health care services but also creates risks because data may be inaccurate, incomplete or one-sided, or interpreted poorly. In order to “unlock value” (Cattell et al., 2013), health care providers need to adopt certain strategies and techniques to address the new information reality, and the presenter suggests that the way to do so is standardization.

The issue of standardizing various types of health care services provided currently is connected to IT governance because this is exactly the area of managing practical tasks whose complexness is constantly increasing due to technological advancements. Snedaker (2016) defines IT governance as “the processes that ensure the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling an organization to achieve its goals” (p. 23).

The very wording of the definition suggests that a system of governance should be in place already, and IT is used as an instrument of it, not as the cornerstone of an administrative system. In the reviewed video, the same idea is expressed, as the presenter mentions that standardization can be achieved by modifying existing governance systems. However, Locatelli, Restifo, Gastaldi, & Corso (2012) suggest that health care institutions were somewhat less prepared to adopting IT governance and had conducted “limited analysis of the organizational consequences” (p. 2).

It can be argued that the specific characteristics of health care services that make them different from other types of addressing existing demand in the business context made health care a challenging area for the adoption of IT governance, but it is inevitable for health care institutions to adopt them—otherwise, they will become uncompetitive.

The understanding of IT governance systems is crucial because the lack of them may cause complications in the modern world; primarily, the complications are associated with the environments that hinder innovation. There is a long-standing debate on factors that effectively promote innovation in health care (Bradley et al., 2012), but it is evident that the unwillingness to use modern technologies negatively affects the very possibility of innovation and quality improvement.

Finally, it should not be overlooked that the concept of IT governance refers not only to technologies but also to people because it involves the notion of leadership. To create value, modern health care providers should actively engage in the process of interaction and governance that promotes the standardization of services and quality criteria without undermining innovation and initiative. To achieve it, health care institutions should commit to value creation and should be open to innovative governance systems.


Bradley, R. V., Byrd, T. A., Pridmore, J. L., Thrasher, E., Pratt, R. M., & Mbarika, V. W. (2012). An empirical examination of antecedents and consequences of IT governance in US hospitals. Journal of Information Technology, 27(2), 156-177.

Cattell, J., Chilukuri, S., & Levy, M. (2013). . Web.

Locatelli, P., Restifo, N., Gastaldi, L., & Corso, M. (2012). Health care information systems: Architectural models and governance. Web.

Snedaker, S. T. (2016). Leading healthcare IT: Managing to succeed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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