August was a month of health information management promotion.
During HIM Week it was great to see many health information management professionals and their employers using social media, with the hashtags #himweek #himweek2023 and #himaa, to recognise, appreciate and celebrate the profession. In addition, many members participated with their local teams. The greatest asset for promotion of the profession is professionals themselves. Building internal and external networks with a range of stakeholders and people with mutual interest and then leveraging this network to promote the profession and have a voice is a wonderful way to do this. It was great that over 3600 people saw my post on LinkedIn during HIM Week that I am a proud Health Information Manager. Together with your posts, I’m confident we made a broader impact than we have in previous years during HIM Week. Well done!
A new Careers section of the HIMAA website is now available promoting careers in health information management, including career pathways, areas health information management professionals work in, what a career in HIM or clinical coding offers, required qualifications and education providers, and where HIMs and Clinical Coders work. This is an opportunity to share with people who ask you about what you do, or are interested in exploring if this is the right career for them.
A letter was created to promote careers in health information management, which the HIMAA branches are in the process of distributing to high school career advisors across the country. Enquiries to the branches and the HIMAA office have already started to arrive.
Pulse IT ran an article on National HIM Week: HIMAA eyes permanent seat at the table, based on an interview I did with them. To quote the article data and information is at the heart of the healthcare system…there are so many dependencies on it…health information management professionals should be having a seat at the table in so many conversations and being leveraged for their views and their thought leadership…being able to contribute at a leadership level is where the profession needs to be recognised.
The three free member webinars during HIM week were well received – these are available via the HIMAA website if you missed them.
- Webinar 25: Meet the HIMAA Board of Directors and Get to Know HIMAA
- Webinar 26: Failproof interview strategies to ingrain the perfect first impression and win that dream job (upload pending)
- Webinar 27: Panel Profiling Careers in Health Information Management
Earlier in the month HIMAA made a submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) as part of the comprehensive review public consultation phase. HIMAA suggested that the definition of a Clinical Coder be adjusted to align with the definition on the national register on Vocational Education and Training (VET) definition that specialisations for Senior Clinical Coder, Clinical Coding Auditor and Clinical Coding Educator be recognised; that the skill level of Clinical Coder be increased now that it requires a Diploma level qualification; that the occupations of Health Information Manager and Clinical Coder be grouped differently in the ANZSCO classification, and that consideration be given to adding the occupation of Clinical Documentation Specialist. While HIMAA will not receive a response to the submission, we will be kept informed on how stakeholder input is influencing changes to the classification.
During the month I received a query from a concerned HIMAA member and student about the impact of AI on the role of clinical coding. Here’s the question and response:
Question: I am starting to get very worried that by the time I graduate at the end of 2024, AI will be widely used in healthcare to do a lot of manual labour-intensive tasks such as clinical coding, and there will be no jobs left for humans to do. I am wondering if HIMAA has a position on the usage of AI in healthcare, specifically in relation to clinical coding and health information management? Has this been covered before in a webinar, position paper, or conference? It would be great to know that the organisation is supporting humans to do these sort of jobs rather than computers, and is advocating to the healthcare sector that position.
CEO Response: You are right in calling this out as a concern. In my experience, working in this space for over 30 years and connected into the digital health and AI landscape, AI is to be considered an opportunity rather than a threat. Just as the healthcare system data and information needs have evolved since I started my career in health information management, they will continue to do so. The healthcare system has a high demand for high quality, timely coded data and the application of this data for numerous purposes. In order to have fully AI generated clinical classification inputs and outputs across the entire healthcare system, the sector needs significant investment and implementation of both core digital systems, like EMRs, and AI technology. While continued uptake and maturity will happen, it is going to be quite a number of years until this is fully realised. There will continue to be roles needed in assurance and auditing relating to both the quality of source clinical documentation and any AI generated coding. Computer assisted coding has been spoken about for many years and will continue to be a feature conversation at this year’s upcoming IFHIMA/HIMAA Congress. While HIMAA does not currently have a position paper on this at present, we will continue to support our members and students understand the changing environment, the ways in which health information management roles will need to continue to adapt and assist in preparing the workforce for any changes.
The impact of AI on our profession is of significant interest to our members, as it was also raised at the recent ‘Meet the Board’ webinar. We are looking at organising a webinar on this topic in the future and look forward to further discussion at this year’s Congress.
We have some informative and valuable events coming up in the next few months. These have been organised to help keep your health information management knowledge and skills up to date. Plan to attend, register and put them in your diary.
Joint IFHIMA Congress/HIMAA National Conference – Join over 400 attendees who have already registered from over 30 countries to hear from international leaders in health information management, and network and learn from delegates. With 4 concurrent streams of presentations and workshops, clinical updates, exhibitors and social events, there is something relevant for everyone working in health information management. This is a not-to-be missed event that I am confident you will personally and professionally benefit from. Current registration pricing is available to the 5 October 2023 with a significant discount available for attendees who are not HIMAA members and choose to join HIMAA at the same time. So register today if you haven’t already.
If this is your first time receiving HIMAA Matters as a new member to HIMAA, welcome! Make sure you check out the HIMAA website, take up the many opportunities available to you as a HIMAA member and participate in making this profession valuable and valued.
September and October Webinars – Register today!
Webinar 28: Unpacking ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS 12th Edition Changes on Diabetes and Neoplasms
12 September 2023 12:30-1:30pm AEST
Webinar 29: My Health Record Update – FREE for all attendees
12 October 2023 12:30-1:30pm AEST
HIMAA is currently working on updating and providing online through the HIMAA website the HIMAA Member Professional Credentialling Scheme so keep a look out for email notifications about how to participate in the scheme in September.
I am pleased to advise that Nicole Kelly has recently joined the HIMAA team as the Events, Marketing and Communication Manager. Nicole joins us with a number of years of experience working in associations in events, marketing and communication. Welcome Nicole!
It’s been great to connect with several of you this month. I invite you to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of any assistance or if you have ideas to contribute.