Letter from the editor

Dear HIM-Interchange readers Welcome to issue two for 2019. I hope you all celebrated National Health Information Management Awareness Month in May. Perhaps you used some of the ideas in Gilder and Loggie's (2019) article on celebrating Health Information Management Awareness Week in your workplace. With 2019 being the 70th birthday of the professional association it is a good opportunity to get out there in our workplaces and promote ourselves and our skills.

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Supporting Clinical Coders: understanding the challenges

This article follows on from the article published in HIM Interchange, Volume 9, Number 1, 2019, titled ‘Supporting Clinical Coders: future proofing the integrity of our clinically coded data’. As discussed in the previous article, activity-based funding (ABF) is evidenced to have professional practice implications for all individuals working within the Clinical Coder (CC) workforce. Responses to the survey analysed and reported on in the previous article suggest that there is some evidence to support the concern that reactive instead of strategic responses, from those of influence in the health sector, have placed unacceptable pressures on CCs, with a focus on quantity rather than quality clinical coding outcomes, at times to the detriment of clinically coded data integrity (Dimitropoulos et al., 2019).

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A professional knowledge and qualifications infrastructure for the specialty of health data auditing

Throughout the Australian healthcare sector, Health Information Mangers (HIMs) who audit data, including clinically coded data, and other health data analysts and auditors, are operating in the emerging era of ‘Big Health Data’. Regardless of volume, composition or complexity, no ‘Big Health Data’ are of value if the baseline data lack integrity and quality at the point of collection and during the analytical phases. The need for HIMs’ and others’ deep understanding of, and constant attention to, health data integrity is evident at local (hospital and health service), state (government, research, and statutory authority), and national levels. This need exists regardless of whether the data in question are client or patient personal health or administrative data, clinical data, classified (coded) diagnostic data, mortality data, performance data, aggregated population health data, or any other collection or combination thereof.

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ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ ACS eleventh edition development overview

Under contract by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA), the Australian Consortium for Classification Development (ACCD)1 has over the last two years been responsible for the development and refinement of the Eleventh Edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM), the Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) and the Australian Coding Standards (ACS).This article provides an overview of the development of the Eleventh Edition of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS, which will be implemented for use in Australian hospitals for clinical coding of admitted episodes of care from 1 July 2019.

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Lights out: decommissioning a health information service

I am writing to share my experience of the decommissioning of Manly Hospital on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The final decommissioning day was 30 October 2018. Manly Hospital’s closure was indeed an historic event.The hospital, located in the historic beachside suburb of Manly on the north eastern shores of beautiful Sydney Harbour, was commissioned in 1896 as a Cottage Hospital. It later transformed into an acute care district hospital with a capacity of 195 beds offering specialties including maternity, general surgery, outpatient oncology and mental health services. This modest district hospital has been acclaimed for its consistent achievement of emergency treatment performance targets as well as for offering a local feel of friendliness and familiarity characteristic of a small, close-knit community. For many longstanding staff, the hospital has significantly shaped both their professional and personal lives.

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The Quality Conversation No. 20

Cathy Balding has been a long time contributor to HIM-Interchange. Since 2013, her thought provoking articles have provided insights into quality in healthcare. For her final column, HIM-Interchange asked Cathy to reflect on her career, the quality conversation, and her advice to other Health Information Managers (HIMs).

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e-Health: developing trust, confidence, quality and sustainability

This guest editorial on e-Health for the virtual special issue (VSI) of the Health Information Management Journal (HIMJ) was published in the May 2019 issue of HIMJ.The concept of e-health encompasses a large array of information technology products and systems, each involved in some way with the gathering, integration, interpretation and communication of data and information. These products and systems include electronic health records (EHRs), personal health records (PHRs), health information exchange and decision support tools. While e-health may have originated with computers that were located in the background of healthcare settings (i.e. initially within financial offices, specialist laboratories or research facilities) (Goodman, 1998), it has rapidly expanded its reach and scope.In the current environment, e-health is an integral and fundamental component of the very practice of healthcare (Georgiou, 2002). e-Health is best understood as a huge network of technologies within a social and technical system, involving hardware and software along with people, processes and human behaviours (Committee on Patient Safety and Health Information Technology, 2011).

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