Data Governance in Primetime Due to Flawed COVID Study

By Shilpi Agarwal, Posted June 10, 2020 In Data Governance

The World Health Organization and several national governments changed their COVID-19 policies and treatments on the basis of the study published by The Lancet and NEJM (The New England Journal of Medicine). But when serious concerns were raised about the integrity of the study, these journals had to retract the study. On further probe, it turned out that the dubious data was taken from a little-known US healthcare analytics company Surgisphere. The Guardian wrote an article about its investigation of this study.

If only The LANCET and NEJM had a robust data governance framework! Then, these more than 200-year-old reputed medical journals wouldn’t have come on their knees due to their publishing this faulty data study on COVID & HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine).

How a data governance framework could have helped

With knowledge about Data Governance, whoever from the Lancet and NEJM approved the study would have asked questions about:

  • Where was the data coming from, i.e., DATA LINEAGE
  • How was sensitive data like PHI (Patient Health Information) accessed and analyzed from over 1000 hospitals

Lessons to be learned from this data folly

For business and each one of us whose fate hangs in suspension due to the COVID crisis, the lesson here is to:

  • Stick to data after checking the validity of data RATHER than personalities and institutions
  • Learn more about how to check data’s validity

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