This is HIMAA Matters eNews Online


The monthly digital newsletter of the Health Information Management Association of Australia Limited
Volume 9 | Issue 06 | Digital
Picture of Catherine Garvey
Catherine Garvey

President - HIMAA

Picture of Catherine Garvey
Catherine Garvey

President - HIMAA

President's Message

What a wonderful, enthusiastic, and enriching HIM week! Lots of social media demonstrating the fun events and promotions of what HIMs and Clinical Coders offer to our employers. Thank you everyone for your participation.

In addition, there were the three webinars hosted by HIMAA, all receiving positive feedback from attendees. The Board was especially delighted to be able to join members in our webinar Meet the Board.  It was a great opportunity to share with you a brief overview of the structure of the Board, our governance, roles, responsibilities, obligations, and frameworks by which we work, and that of our Registered Training Organisation. Individual Board members gave a quick insight into their personal experiences and places of employment, which are diverse indeed. A sincere thanks to my fellow Board members for their ongoing passion and commitment to our profession engagement. Any questions not answered on the day will be added to the Members’ Portal.

Of note during our session, we shared the year ahead via our Initiative Roadmap; we will arrange for this to be added to the Members’ Portal as well.  Based on our recent assessment of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan the Board has aligned key tasks against each strategy to be quite intentional about achieving outcomes which aim to advocate and advance our position in the ever-dynamic work environments in which we, as professionals, operate.

Amongst the many matters for our attention, a priority task is the search for a replacement CEO. The position has been advertised widely on social media, as well as using traditional recruitment methods, to find the person who will take on the operational responsibility for head office.  If being our next CEO is something to which you aspire this may be an ideal opportunity to pursue. The closing date is 11.59pm Sunday 10 September 2023.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our member volunteers who support the many committees and working groups, Branch Convenors, Chairs, and Special Interest Groups. The efforts and passion of these groups are the lifeforce of our membership.  The structure of the committees, as shared in our HIM Week webinar, can be found on the Members’ Portal. Should you wish to partake please reach out to Sallyanne Wissman to make the connections for you.

In addition to our Initiative Roadmap, our mid-term review of the Strategic Plan has identified that we are tracking quite well in all areas, some more matured than others, but each receiving our attention either directly or through one of our many Committees, Communities of Practice or other forums.  One strategy needing more attention is to position our services to enable growth within health information management roles. As the saying goes: two (or more) heads are better than one. The Board invited members to share ideas and innovations which will help advance all strategies on the table. Let us know your thoughts on the aforementioned, or indeed any of our other strategies, and how we can develop them.

Another notable information point during our webinar was the Roadmap for Membership Kara Pollard, Vice President and Board Liaison for the Membership Committee, showed great esprit de corps in addressing the 5-phase approach related to this project.  As mentioned, this roadmap will be the subject of further consultation and discussion. I encourage each member to become engaged. Our shared efforts and contributions in this project will be an investment in our future as an Association and as professionals in our workplaces.

We are almost into September so our upcoming IFHIMA/HIMAA combined Congress is fast approaching. We have received an enthusiastic response with our Early Bird registrations and already have an impressive list of registrants. If you have not had the chance to register, I encourage you to visit our HIMAA Membership Portal to take advantage of the various rates for members, individuals, and groups.  We are looking forward to a very informative event, with the advantage of local and international speakers, guests, and members.

Our Membership Officer, Jenny Moreland, has been busy assisting members with their renewals.  Should you have any questions and require assistance do reach out to Jenny; she will be delighted to chat with you.

Catherine Garvey


Table of Contents
Picture of From the CEO's desk
From the CEO's desk

Sallyanne Wissmann | CEO (Interim), HIMAA

Picture of From the CEO's desk

From the CEO's desk

Sallyanne Wissmann | CEO (Interim), HIMAA

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 if I can be of any assistance or if you have ideas to contribute.


Member News

Latest news and updates submitted by members. Any member updates, please submit to

HIMAA Membership Enhancement Strategy

During HIM Week we introduced the 2023-2024 Membership Enhancement Strategy, a framework designed around ‘Membership Enhancement’ of the HIMAA community. This program aims to improve satisfaction, value and engagement for our members.

Read More »

Membership Awards

Each year HIMAA and the State Branches recognise member service and significant achievement to the Association or the health information management profession. Nominations are now open for the two categories: Student of the Year and Practitioner of the Year.

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HIMAA VIC Branch Member Survey

VIC Branch is seeking input from members in order to plan and provide events going forward, and determine how best to offer value to our members. A survey will be distributed in the next week to all VIC members.   We would appreciate your time in responding to the survey.

Read More »

SA Branch Committee Update

The SA Branch Committee recently hosted a Christmas in July Social Dinner. This was a wonderful occasion for members to come together, celebrate and strengthen their bonds. HIMAA are pleased with the attendance of the event including President Catherine Garvey.

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QUT Open Day

Recently at the QUT Open Day where the Bachelor of HIM was profiled with a booth and presentations. Interim CEO, Sallyanne Wissmann met with Sue Walker, Course Coordinator at the booth.

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La Trobe University HIM Week Morning Tea

La Trobe University (HIM) academics hosted an intimate morning tea to celebrate HIM Awareness Week. This provided a great opportunity to celebrate the profession and its strong advocacy for the authorised use of quality health information.

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Education News

HIMAA Student Profile

Our student of the month for August is Anna Boon from Oran Park in New South Wales. Cathy scored 92% in the clinical coding exam, has completed the HLT50321 Diploma of Clinical Coding and is keen to start consolidating her clinical coding knowledge. We spoke with Anna on her experience,

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QUT HIM Student under the Spotlight

Elizabeth (Liz) Grimmett, Final year Health Information Management student at the Queensland University of Technology What are your background and interests and how did these lead to your enrolment in the in Bachelor of HIM? My path to HIM has not been linear! After graduating with a business degree, I

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La Trobe HIM Student under the Spotlight

Zoe Farr, La Trobe Student – Master of Health Information Management  What is your background and what led you to study a Master of Health Information Management? Where do you see the HIM qualification taking you? I have a background in physics and education but transitioned into the Healthcare sector by

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HIM Journal

Latest from HIMJ

Since the July issue of HIMAA Matters, six new papers were published in HIMJ …   Research article  Perceptions of Portuguese medical coders on the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS: A national survey Philipa Santos Martins, Fernando Lopes, Julio Souza, Alberto Freitas, Joao Vasco Santos July 18, 2023 | OnlineFirst In this

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What's on

Stay up to date with the upcoming events and activities across the board at HIMAA

Latest News

HIMAA Recruitment – Chief Executive Officer

HIMAA is seeking an experienced leader who wants to make a positive difference within the Australian healthcare system. The Health Information Management Association of Australia represents the specialists in information management who work within all levels of the healthcare system. An exciting opportunity exists for a new Chief Executive Officer to grow HIMAA’s influence and effectiveness. The successful applicant will be a creative and innovative thinker with proven senior level leadership experience and demonstrated success in responding to changing external environments. To ensure health information management is seen as a valued and valuable health profession, the ability to build collaborative partnerships and relationships, broaden external engagement and advocacy, build the profession, leverage and grow the expertise of members, and deliver value adding services to members and the broader healthcare industry are required. Reporting to the Board, the CEO is responsible for providing strategic, organisational, financial and advocacy leadership, and providing expert advice and operational excellence across HIMAA’s functions. HIMAA is a not-for-profit incorporated Association, and Registered Training Organisation, providing high quality support and services to the health information management profession throughout Australia and internationally.  HIMAA does this through positioning and advocacy, competency management, accreditation, education and training, certification and credentialing, quality standards, publications and resources, and HIMAA membership activities at local and national levels, including an annual national conference of international standing.  For further information, visit An attractive remuneration package will be negotiated with the successful candidate, commensurate with skills and experience. Download a copy of the Position Description.

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Remembering Ian Rowe

It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of Ian Rowe, a long-term supporter of the health information management profession.


Professor Phyllis Watson AM recalls a young Ian Rowe starting the “Rolls” company back in 1971, the beginning of Ian’s commitment to the profession across Australia.

“When I commenced my first “Medical Record Administrator” role, at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, Ian was “the go to person” for products for medical records”, writes Cassandra Jordan.

Ian was a larger-than-life personality, and he regularly created an atmosphere of fun at all the professional events he sponsored and attended.

Ian was an intrinsic member of the Australian health industry with development, production, marketing and sales of quality products, many of these remain in use today.

Ian developed the medical records side of the business. He contributed technical advice to the original and subsequent Australian Standard for Healthcare Records (AS 2828) and provided trusted, innovative, and quality products.

Ian printed the HIM-J pro bono for HIMAA and never refused a request for a job for HIMAA.

Ian was committed to the education of Health Information Management students, and regularly flew to Sydney to present on the importance of forms and record management. He also attended and sponsored student functions and graduations.

Many Health Information Managers have enjoyed careers working with Ian and Rolls including Jacki Kent, Jacqueline Kelly, Jo Callen, Josephine Raw, Kim Osborne, Linda Westbrook, Melissa Turnell, and Robina McCarthy.

Ian’s legacy will continue with his son Luke at Rolls Australia. Ian will be missed.

19 August 2023