Welcome to 2024! I trust you are rested and ready to embrace all that 2024 brings. This year is going to be full of opportunities to continue to learn, mature, collaborate and network within your chosen career of health information management. For myself and almost everyone I meet who works in or supports health information management, this continues to be a field and career choice that continues to personally inspire, motivate, and satisfy, as the opportunities and work to be done is endless in ensuring health data and information supports and enables high quality healthcare and outcomes in Australia and other countries. We may be a relatively small professional group, but we certainly contribute high value in what we do in relation to clinical coding, clinical documentation improvement and health information management in many and varied contexts. Not limited to these disciplines, many professional colleagues have chosen to contribute in related spheres including education, research, executive management, project and program management, IT systems and technology. No doubt I have missed someone, as we have skills that can be applied to many contexts. Our roles are varied, but our influence and impact is vast. It is in this context that HIMAA exists to support you, our members, and the continued evolution and advancement of the health information management profession, and the career pathways within it for Health Information Managers, Clinical Coders, and others.
The Case for Change
Over 120 people took the time towards the end of last year to respond to the Case for Change Consultation Paper, or provide feedback at the IFHIMA Congress, or via the HIMAA Leadership Workshop on the 1st of December, on the challenges facing Health Information Managers, Clinical Coders and HIMAA, as we all endeavour to remain relevant, adaptive, recognised, and valued in the changing environment within which we work.
From the Case for Change Consultation Paper, 184 responses were received in relation to the top three challenges facing Health Information Managers, with the top challenges related to recognition/credibility, skills, AI/digital disruption/eHealth, education pathways, attraction/low numbers of the profession and workforce shortages. 80% of respondents strongly agree that the challenges facing Health Information Managers need to be addressed.
In relation to the top three challenges facing Clinical Coders, 112 responses were received, with the top challenges related to AI, entry level positions, remuneration, recognition/valued, ongoing education and being job ready. 85% of respondent strongly agree that the challenges facing Clinical Coders need to be addressed.
I am very appreciative of the valuable and honest feedback that was provided. I am continuing to work through the feedback to develop an effective approach to collectively and collaboratively address the challenges and move forward together. Now is a great time to be part of this important profession-defining and enhancing work. I encourage you to remain (or become) a member of HIMAA and be involved. I have no doubt that this year is going to be a year of change as we continue to evolve, innovate, and empower. I will provide a further update next month.
You have an opportunity today to be part of emerging focus for the year, as the call to present at this year’s National Health Information Management Conference from 28-30 October in Melbourne opens today. The Conference theme is “Health Information Management: Evolving, Innovating and Empowering”. Be part of the national dialogue, share your expertise, and be part of the journey – we’re in this together and it’s going to result in some great outcomes to be recognised and celebrated. See the article in HIMAA Matters relating to Conference Submissions.
HIMAA Office Staff Changes
As Catherine has mentioned, we have transitioned to a new Director Clinical Coding Education Services and have warmly welcomed Mary-Ellen Wetherspoon to this role. Mary-Ellen and I are in daily contact as we explore and plan for the ongoing transformation of our Education Services to educate and equip Clinical Coders and provide professional practice support for clinical coding professionals. Watch this space as we have many plans in the pipeline. See the introduction to Mary-Ellen further in HIMAA Matters.
Before Christmas we farewelled our Events, Communication and Marketing Manager, Nicole, after a short time with us. We currently are advertising for an Events Coordinator if you know of anyone who would be well suited to the role please let them know. I am assessing how to best meet HIMAA’s marketing, communication and advocacy needs and will be exploring how to leverage the expertise of third parties to meet HIMAA’s goals in these areas. If you have any companies you recommend, please let me know.
This week we farewelled Andrea Gall our Executive Support Officer, after almost 4 years in the role due to a great career opportunity that came her way due to her events management expertise. Andrea will be missed by the staff, board, committees and branches she has liaised with to advance HIMAA activities. We are currently advertising for an Executive Support Officer if you know of anyone who would be well suited to the role please let them know.
New HIM Advisor Role Advertised
I am looking for an experienced Health Information Manager to join my team to provide health information management advice and expertise to advance HIMAA’s strategic initiatives, with a predominant focus on HIMAA’s services and products for HIMs and voice for HIMs. The role will have strategic, operational, advocacy and stakeholder responsibilities and work in collaboration with HIMAA Committees and members. This is a new opportunity to influence and advance professional requirements for Health Information Managers. The HIM Advisor role is currently advertised with applications closing on Monday 5th February. Contact me for a confidential conversation if you are interested.
In closing, the year has commenced with a bang as we immediately get to work to continue to effect change that results in HIMAA being responsive and effective. I cannot do this alone or in isolation. I welcome your input and feedback at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org or 0403898403 and look forward to working with you during the year.