groupJoanne Fitzgerald

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Dear HIM-Interchange readers

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. While many of us could not meet in person, we hope that you could keep up to date on some of the latest health information management topics through the articles in the journal. This issue is no exception, with a host of topical articles for you to enjoy.

Aged care has been very much in the media recently. Firstly through the hearings and interim findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety 2019) and more recently due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities. Janine Carter (2020) reflects on the interim findings from the Royal Commission as they relate to data and information and advocates for the importance of Health Information Managers (HIMs) in the aged care sector. Loggie (2020) continues the aged care theme and describes the new residential aged care casemix classification and associated funding model developed by the Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong, on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health. It seems likely the aged care sector will undergo significant reform in the coming years, and in order to implement those reforms the need for HIMs will be critical. Given the current views on future health information workforce shortages, having sufficient HIMs for the aged care and health sectors would appear to a challenge.

Two HIMs share their stories of working in environments that may be foreign to many of us. Wapper (2020) recounts the many and varied roles she has had as a HIM working in a remote setting in the Northern Territory. However, even more remote than Alice Springs is the country of Tuvalu, where HIM Kaye Borgelt (2020) worked for 12 months as a volunteer as part of an international aid program. While the pictures of the beaches in the article may seem idyllic, the article outlines the significant challenges the country faces in managing health information and delivering health care. Borgelt illustrates how even in a short space of time and with limited technological solutions, health information management processes can make improvements to health care delivery.

Also in this issue, Cumerlato and Rankin (2020) provide an overview of the International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) and reflect on how this could impact the Australian Classification of Health Interventions. The article provides a clear explanation of the structure of ICHI, how ICHI fits with other World Health Organization classifications and potential benefits. Lastly, if you haven’t seen the Health Information Management Journal Special Issue on Clinical Coding and the Quality and Integrity of Health Data, we have republished the editorial authored by Jennie Shepheard in this issue of HIM-Interchange. I encourage you to read the editorial and then check out the other articles in the special issue, which you will find through the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) website.

The HIM-Interchange Subcommittee is always looking for ways to enhance the journal. The Subcommittee has been investigating ways to make the journal more accessible, easier for members to read, share articles with colleagues and search previous issues for relevant articles. The redevelopment of the HIMAA website has provided the tools to support this and from 2021 HIM-Interchange will be redeveloped and redesigned for online publication only. Keep an eye out for further information from HIMAA and for a new look HIM-Interchange in 2021.


References

  • Borgelt K (2020) Where on earth is Tuvalu? My year as a Health Information Manager in a developing country. HIM-Interchange 10(3):13-16.
  • Carter J (2020) Health Information Manager opportunities in the digital transformation of the aged care sector. HIM-Interchange 10(3):17-19.
  • Cumerlato M and Rankin N (2020) International Classification of Health Interventions: the future of health intervention classification in Australia? HIM-Interchange 10(3):8-12.
  • Loggie C (2020) Residential aged care in crisis: using casemix to drive reform. HIM-Interchange 10(3):5-7.
  • Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (2019). Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Interim Report: Neglect. Available at: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/interim-report (accessed 14 August 2020).
  • Wapper J (2020) The many roles of a remote Health Information Manager. HIM-Interchange 10(3):20-22.

Authors

Joanne Fitzgerald
Editor