Sydney is entering its 9th week of lockdown with an announcement that it will be extended until the end of September. Other States have been experiencing lockdowns as well. I must say it is a challenging time to keep your spirits up, not to mention the uncertainty surrounding the 2021 HIMAA National Conference.
The Conference was scheduled to be held at the Pullman Melbourne on 25-27 October 2021. Then the venue changed to the Crown due to the Pullman’s status as a quarantine hotel. The Conference and Events Committee planned to provide a hybrid conference; however, as we came together to discuss details of virtual delivery, we were faced with extended lockdowns in NSW and Victoria, with other States behaving erratically by announcing new rules. More importantly there were concerns from our members about their ability to travel.
Last week the Committee made the difficult decision to pivot to a full virtual Conference. With two months to go we needed this time to plan our new program, pricing and activities. The registered attendees will be offered a credit or a refund. Details will be announced via our website, by eAlerts and on social media. Please be patient as we work through this change. What I do know is that we will have a high calibre program with exceptional papers and guest speakers. Please check out the program here.
I am disappointed that we will not see each other in person. I believe the online cooking session was well received during last year’s virtual Conference. If you can suggest any similar activities we can run online please feel free to get in touch. We want to ensure this is an opportunity for you to connect and enjoy the company of your peers. The 2022 National Conference will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide. I can assure there will be one fabulous party there!
In the meantime, I would like to thank the members of the Conference and Events Committee for their hard work in putting together this great program. The members of the Committee are: Cheens Lee (President), Catherine Garvey (Senior Vice President), Grant Duffill (Chair, Finance & Risk Committee), Joan Henderson (Scientific Chair, Academic), Kathleen Rogers (Scientific Chair, Industry), Brook Macpherson (Senior HIM representative, HIM Stream), Cara Read (Senior HIM Representative, Coding Stream), Dwayne Richards (VIC Branch Convenor, Guest) who all generously volunteer their time to develop this event for HIMAA – and are awesome.
I am also excited to share some of the planning that is underway for our Professional Development program. We are gearing up to deliver two per month. There will be topics under CDI, HIM, Clinical Updates and Clinical Coding. To ensure our members are prioritised we will offer free programs where possible, or at a discounted price. The Policy Skills webinar will be held tomorrow, 27 August 2021, at no fee to members.
We are also launching podcasts starting in September, with one being released every month. These will also be free to members. Please consider being involved and share your knowledge with your peers. We have a schedule for webinars and podcasts until the end of the year, but there’s always room for more! Contact Dreda Heard on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss topic ideas, or if you are interested in presenting.
I am looking forward to the webinar on Electronic Health Records with Heather Grain on 15 September 2021. Heather is of the opinion that EHRs, like their paper-based and digitally-based forebears, need structure. She believes that the discoveries from the UK and Europe show that where that structure is built upon a consistent understanding of the data in the record, the record itself gains power. Register here and we will see you there.
In this edition of HIMAA Matters I’d like to draw your attention to the 2021 Branch Awards nominations, Expressions of Interest to be a member of the Education Committee and Professional Development Sub-Committee, and a networking event from the HIMAA Queensland and Victoria branches on 10 September 2021.
I remain keen to work with you in leading HIMAA to serve the health information profession. Please feel free to reach out to me to chat.
Chief Executive Officer