Welcome to the third issue for 2020. What a year 2020 has been! Speaking for myself, I would be quite happy to never have to use the phrase ‘unprecedented times’ ever again. I look forward to the days when my standard email sign off does not need to be ‘stay safe’.I hope during the year HIM-Interchange has supported you to keep connected with your health information management colleagues and the profession.
I enjoyed reading the articles in the recent HIM-I (Volume 10 Number 2 2020), focused on education of our future Health Information Managers. The enthusiasm of the students, supervisors and educators shone through the readings, whilst at the same time the importance of ‘work integrated learning’ was emphasised.
Residential aged care has recently been in the spotlight in Australia for all the wrong reasons. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has highlighted many deficiencies in the provision of care (Commonwealth of Australia 2019), and the tragic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further laid bare the extent of the failings within the sector. Principal among the contributing factors identified has been insufficient and ineffective funding allocation along with inadequate staffing arrangements.
The World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) has a suite of classifications that can be used in an integrated way to collect, compare and report health information at a local, national and international level (Madden et al. 2007). WHO-FIC contains three reference classifications: the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (World Health Organization 2016), the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (World Health Organization 2001)
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.
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).