COBIT business framework becoming widespread in healthcare IT

A growing number of hospitals and health insurance companies are adopting a business framework known as COBIT 5, according to Healthcare IT News.

A focus on efficiency and value

The guidelines, which have been implemented by a variety of financial institutions, private companies and foreign governments, are designed to streamline operations and reduce costs. The framework allows healthcare IT personnel to identify enterprise goals and develop roadmaps for infrastructure deployment.

Vander Wal, president of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ICASA), told the news source the healthcare IT industry could reap the benefits of adopting COBIT 5.

“It’s really focused on the enterprise, as opposed to the IT side,” said Wal. “How do you get the most value out of IT such that the information is reliable and trustworthy and you have sound processes? COBIT 5 provides that framework to do that.”

Gaining traction

Several large healthcare IT organizations and healthcare providers have already adopted the framework, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which implemented COBIT 5 in 2009. Officials at the organization said COBIT was the only business management framework that allowed them to take full control of their entire healthcare IT lifecycle.

Wal speculated that as insurance companies and care providers become increasingly concerned with maximizing value and achieving government compliance, COBIT 5 could become an integral part of the healthcare IT landscape.

Governance and compliance

With many healthcare IT professionals already tasked with the impending transition to the ICD-10 codebase and attesting to meaningful use of medical informatics systems, frameworks like COBIT 5 could ease the pressure to achieve regulatory compliance under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

According to the official ICASA website, the organization currently has more than 95,000 members across 190 chapters in 75 countries worldwide. In today’s clinical environments, additional support and guidance on how to achieve regulatory compliance may be an asset for healthcare IT personnel.

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