What does an experienced Health Information Manager (HIM) do when they leave the Victorian public health sector after thirty years? I packed up my knowledge and suitcase and relocated to Tuvalu, one of the smallest and least visited countries in the world, to work for 12 months as a volunteer HIM with Australian Volunteers International, an aid program funded by the Australian Government.
Twenty-five years ago I moved to Alice Springs. Like many who have moved to‘The Alice’ I thought I would be in town for one or two years at most, then move on to bigger and better things. Instead I find myself working in an environment that continues to offer a wide range of professional experiences and challenges for a Health Information Manager (HIM).
Back in the late 1980s I began my health information management career in the public aged care sector. After several years working in various health information management, information technology and project management roles in acute health, I have recently returned to the not-for-profit aged care sector at an exciting time, where the skills of a Health Information Manager (HIM) can contribute to supporting safe and effective care as technology develops into a key component of clinical practice.
Student practical placements, or work integrated learning experiences, are an important component of any degree as it is an opportunity for the student to assimilate the theory and knowledge they have gained during the degree in a workplace setting. It is also an opportunity for the student to practice and further develop their skills and knowledge in a safe environment, with the aim to ultimately produce work ready health information management graduates. Students have an opportunity to engage with Health Information Managers (HIMs) through placement activities including health information management tasks, work shadowing, projects and clinical classification, allowing the student to begin to develop their own HIM network.
I am a postgraduate student in the Master of Advanced Health Service Management (majoring in health information management) at the University of Technology Sydney. I am also a mother with two school-aged children. Returning to university 15 years after graduating is a significant challenge for me. It is an extraordinary journey with difficulties and achievements.
Final year placement is an opportunity to build upon interpersonal and industry-specific skills, develop networks and advance your professional profile to the health information management world. You are required to develop your professional maturity, practice effective communication skills, and present unique thinking to achieve desirable outcomes. Final year placement is the culmination of your student life, where everything you have learnt in lectures and workshops comes to fruition in the workplace environment.
My name is Dusty Ellen and I am a Health Information Manager (HIM) from Perth, Western Australia (WA). As a HIM, I have been educated in a broad range of topics throughout my university and career experiences. The variety of skills and knowledge I have attained enable my flexibility and ability to efficiently apply myself to complete a myriad of projects and has facilitated my capability to action changes within the workplace. My confidence in my abilities allows me to accept unfamiliar tasks, as I understand that I can apply my research and problem-solving skills, in order to accomplish organisational tasks.
While I was studying my Master’s degree in health information management, I was very excited and thrilled by the diversity of potential career pathways. For me, this was a perfect university degree to broaden my horizons and discover my passion, based on my strengths and weaknesses. At the time, I was still unsure of what direction I wanted to head in (or even the different kinds of roles Health Information Managers [HIMs] could be in!). Luckily, in my final year, I had the pleasure of completing a full block placement (11 weeks) at Family Safety Victoria, with a highly experienced HIM who helped pave the way for my future career.
The Australian Digital Health Agency has developed the National Digital Health Strategy with a remit to evolve digital health capability. The strategy proposes seven strategic priority outcomes, including digitally- enabled models of care that improve accessibility, quality, safety and efficiency, to be achieved by 2022 (Australian Digital Health Agency 2017). A digital medical record platform is paramount to achieving these outcomes. With the deadline of 2022 approaching it is a pivotal time to recognise trends and provide potential solutions and lessons learnt after implementation of a digital medical record.
The HIM-Interchange Subcommittee was formed in 2015, with the primary responsibility at that time being the co-opting of articles to fill the pages of HIM-Interchange. Today the role of co-opting articles remains a key responsibility of the members, however the scope has been extended to include the mentoring of authors and the end-to-end functions associated with the publication of the journal.