It was a big lead up to the 2021 HIMAA National Virtual Conference and it didn’t disappoint! Even some technical issues didn’t dampen the spirits for nearly 300 Conference participants. We hosted great speakers, papers, social events, and shared Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM’s story as our motivational speaker.
There was a lot to celebrate:
- 2021 Best Paper was awarded to Implementation status of hospital EMRs: Findings from a survey of public hospitals in Victoria, Australia by Kay Bonello, Merilyn Riley, Debbie McBain, Jenn Lee, Natasha Prasad, Sharon Campbell, Emma Barker, Dr Kerin Robinson.
- Voted by the attendees, 2021 Best Presentation went to Dr Felicity Sinclair-Ford on Junior Doctors and Clinical Documentation Improvement and James Katte on What’s new with you 0002: Additional diagnoses where to from here as joint winners.
If you missed this year’s Conference, you may view the papers presented through the Conference Proceedings. Where we have permission, we will be making the Conference video recordings available for viewing purchase through the upcoming HIMAA Online Store.
It’s probably best not to miss out though and I suggest you mark 26-28 October 2022 in your diary now to plan for your travel to Adelaide in 2022. The EOI for the 2022/2023 Conference Organising Committee is called in this issue. Please consider volunteering in the HIMAA’s flagship event and encourage EOIs from the hosting regions, South Australia and Queensland as well as those who have a strong national network. We plan to open the paper submission early in 2022 so while you take a well-earned break over the Christmas, you may want to give some thought towards topic/paper ideas. We are looking forward to an in-person Conference and I promise there will be a party to remember!
2021 HIMAA Annual General Meeting was also held during the Conference where we welcomed Kara Pollard to the Board and thanked Travis Ingram as our outgoing Board Director. We were excited to announce Alexandra Toth as our newest Life Member and thanked continuing Branch Convenors, Kim Osborne (Co-Convenor NSW), Heather Byrne (ACT), Hayley Niewerth (Co-Convenor TAS), Dwayne Richards (VIC) and Bas Alnassar (WA) while we welcomed new Convenors, Terry Seery (SA), Melissa Turnell (Co-Convenor NSW), Danica Jong (QLD) and Cindy Flanagan (Co-Convenor TAS). If you have not yet been in touch with your State HIMAA Branches, I encourage you to check what’s happening and see how you can be involved. Their contact details can be found here. The Branches generally hold an end of year networking event so please look out for this announcement on LinkedIn, Facebook or this page.
I would like to again congratulate the 2021 HIMAA Award Winners in State and National categories for the Student of the Year and Practitioner of the Year. You can view the winner listing in the Member News section. I’m keen to raise the profiles of both HIM students and the profession and giving some thought to organising a Work Group. If you have an interest in this area or have ideas on what initiatives should be taken, please feel free to reach out to me.
I welcome the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Clinical Coding Special Interest Group which has recently formed to serve HIMAA members and the HIM profession in the KSA. I welcome Hulaily Zuhair, Manal Nasser Al Khaliefah, Helalah Waked, Shadi Al Hassan, Fatimah Abu Ali, Racha Naim (Co-Convenor) and Abdelrhman Alsoat (Co-Convenor). They are working to set their 2022 agenda and I look forward to supporting them from the National Office as well as from the HIMAA membership base.
The Special Interest Group convenors are set to meet again on 7 December. I am aware that they have been reviewing the Terms of Reference and happy to support these re-invigorated groups in 2022.
I was pleased to be invited to the NSW HIM Leadership Group Meeting where Dreda and I shared the news on what’s happening, as well as inform the group of the work HIMAA is undertaking as a Registered Training Organisation to contribute to the profession. The HIMAA Education Services team, led by Lyn Williams, enrol around 450 students per year across all courses in Australia. Next year we are launching HLT50321 Diploma of Clinical Coding with enrolments opening mid-January. It’s an exciting time as we launch an upgraded course in an upgraded LMS version! All enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Education Services teach and assess students from the KSA with a healthy number of students going through each year and currently delivering a course for World Health Organisations to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa which will be completed by the end of 2022.
We have a schedule of webinars and podcasts planned for 2022 with no shortage of topic ideas! We want to cater to members’ interests and showcase their achievements, so I invite you to get in touch to put your hand up to be a presenter or to suggest what you’d be interested to hear about. Our last webinar for the year is with our very own HIMAA Board Director, Vicki Bennett from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, on 26 November 2021. The webinars will return from February 2022.
It has certainly been a very busy year as I mark my first-year anniversary with HIMAA. There’s so much excitement for the year ahead and a lot to do, so as always, I thank you, the members for your ongoing support and contribution. I take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful and restful Festive Season with your family and friends. I look forward to connecting with you soon.
Chief Executive Officer