This is HIMAA Matters eNews Online


The monthly digital newsletter of the Health Information Management Association of Australia Limited
Volume 9 | Issue 10 | Digital
Picture of Catherine Garvey
Catherine Garvey

President - HIMAA

Picture of Catherine Garvey
Catherine Garvey

President - HIMAA

President's Message

Happy New Year for 2024 to everyone! I hope you had a chance to wind down, relax and enjoy this time of year in the way that works best for you.

With the New Year well underway now, there are additional new beginnings since our Board meeting on 12 December 2023. In December we farewelled Lyn Williams, Director Education Services, and in January welcomed Mary-Ellen Wetherspoon as the new Director. Mary-Ellen will be no less energetic in settling in and advancing our Education Services and offerings as she gains momentum.

Early in December our Education Committee Chair, Dr Kerin Robinson, resigned. After almost three years of
substantial personal contribution and commitment to developing and overseeing the substantial Work Plan of the
Education Committee and Sub-Committees, we express our sincere appreciation to Kerin. Cassie Rupnik will Chair the Education Committee in the interim as we move forward with our Case for Change discussions and its impact on our strategies and committees.

The Board welcomed Nicole Payne who joined as a casual Director until the 2024 AGM towards the end of the year. Nicole is a healthcare leader with more than 20 years’ experience in public and private health, specializing in health information management, hospital revenue management and management of patient information systems.

Jenn Lee and Adele Visser have enthusiastically commenced and embraced their roles as Co-Chairs for the Academic Program of our Conference Committee, with the welcomed handover assistance from Dr Joan Henderson, as they begin preparations for what will be an excellent networking and learning opportunity in the form of our Conference later this year.

Plan your calendar and budget for our lighthouse event later this year! Today we launch the call for paper and
abstract submissions for the 2024 Conference. We look forward to receiving your abstracts before 14 March 2024. Help evolve, innovate and empower health information management! We would love to hear your voice at the Conference.

HIM Conference 2024

During our last meeting of 2023, the Board was informed of the very positive feedback received following the IFHMA/
HIMAA Congress/Conference. We also noted those items which caused frustration or inconvenience. These have been shared with our new Committee to use as lessons learnt to mitigate recurrence. Our gratitude to all for your feedback following the Conference, which helps our continuous quality improvement in this space.

The first Board meeting for the year will be held on 13 February 2024. We anticipate that we will begin to review the feedback from the Case for Change consultation, together with discussions on our progress with the current Strategic Plan, which comes to an end in December this year. I am very proud of the individual and collective commitment of each of our Board Directors who are
busily reviewing and working with stakeholders for their particularly portfolios, especially over the last couple of

A refresh summary of the roles on the Board, following our 2023 AGM:

Office Bearers for 2024:

  • President – Catherine Garvey
  • Senior Vice President – James Katte
  • Vice President – Kara Pollard
  • Treasurer – Shane Sanfilippo

Liaison positions / Committee roles:

  • Accreditation Council Board Liaison – James Katte
  • Branch Convenors Committee – Catherine Garvey
  • Conference Committee – Cassie Rupnik/ Catherine Garvey
  • Editorial Board – Louise Edmonds
  • Education Committee Board Liaison & Chair – Cassie Rupnik
    • CDI Working Party – Cassie Rupnik
    • Professional Development Sub-Committee – Kara Pollard
  • Finance, Audit & Risk Management Committee (FARM) – Shane Sanfilippo, James Katte, Louise Edmonds
  • Membership Committee Board Liaison – Kara Pollard
  • Research and Advisory Committee Board Liaison – Vicki Bennett

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to join in our Committees, Working Groups, Communities of Practice or other means of progressing our profession and keeping it relevant, upfront and centre in industry? If you are considering a contribution to your profession by way of being part of our committees, please  reach out to the Board Liaison Officer associated with it, or our CEO Sallyanne, who will assist with your queries. If you have any inspirational resolutions which are worth sharing, please let us know and we will find a way to broadcast them.

In this edition of HIMAA Matters we showcase the Communities of Practice which are available for our members to join and network with colleagues in
relation to areas of mutual interest.

Looking forward to an energetic and stimulating 2024. Wishing each of you a successful business year in whichever of the many careers your profession has led you to.

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality” Warren Bennis

Catherine Garvey,

Table of Contents

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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, HIMAA

CEO Report

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.

2024 Conference

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 or 0403898403 and look forward to working with you during the year.


Member News

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

Membership Tips & Tricks

This month we focus on a few tips to help you manage your HIMAA membership, from keeping your contact details up to date to downloading your membership certificate.

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HIMAA’s Community of Practice – Get Involved

HIMAA’s Communities of Practice exist for HIMAA members to collaborate on areas of common interest.  They are open for people to join them at any time.  In today’s HIMAA Matters we showcase each of HIMAA’s Communities of Practice and encourage you to email if you are interested in joining

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Education News

Introducing Mary-Ellen Wetherspoon

As I adjust and orientate to the first few days at HIMAA, I have taken time to reflect on the professional assets that I bring to the role. While I am confident that I have a unique set of skills and deep knowledge of clinical coding with experience and learning

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HIMAA Education Services Update

Why study with HIMAA? HIMAA is industry-recognised as providing quality education courses. As the professional association for health information management professionals, HIMAA sets national standards, has expert knowledge and keeps abreast of industry changes. Our educators are passionate about helping students to succeed. HIMAA members know about employment opportunities, can

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Diploma of Clinical Coding

🌟 Enhance your career prospects with HLT50321 Diploma of Clinical Coding! 🏥 Unlock the gateway to a rewarding future in clinical coding by enrolling in our comprehensive course. 📚 Gain proficiency and confidence in coding all areas of simple to complex casemix aligned with clinical practice in the Australian Healthcare Sector, equipping

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What's on

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

Annual conference
What's on

2024 Conference Update

The 2024 National Health Information Management Conference will be held from 28-30 October at the Crown in Melbourne. The 2024 Conference website is now available

More Information »

Editorial Board

Latest News

HIMAA Leadership Workshop

On 1 December 2023,  25 HIMAA leaders from the HIMAA Board, Branch Convenors, Committee Chairs, Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee, and the university sector

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HIM Advisor Opportunity

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

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CDI Annual Survey Report

Awareness of CDI is slowly penetrating the collective consciousness in ICD-10-AM countries. However, there remains an ongoing challenge to increase its prominence in all aspects

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Judith Young

Judith Young, or Judy, as we knew her, passed away on the 2 December, 2023 at the age of 96. At her Funeral on the 22 December, 2023, her niece spoke of her as ‘a rare and special soul, with an amazing capacity to take on a range of adventures during her lifetime’

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