groupJoanne Fitzgerald

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Dear HIM-Interchange readers

I hope you agree with me that it was worth the wait for the first issue for 2021. It has been in the planning and development stages for some time, and we are now ready to launch the new online platform for HIM-Interchange. Our aim is to upgrade the format of the journal to make it more accessible and functional for members, making it easier to share articles and search past issues and to modernise HIM-Interchange so that it keeps pace with the digital world we live in. For those members who like to read from paper rather than a screen or like to lend their hard copy of HIM-Interchange to others to read, there is still the option to print a hard copy of each article.

I would like to thank the HIM-Interchange Subcommittee for all their hard work in getting the online platform off the ground. My thanks also to the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) Board and the Editorial Board for their support and advocacy, and the HIMAA office for providing the tools and resources to enable the online platform to be developed. The online platform is a work in progress, so please let us know your feedback.

In this issue, Karnik et al (2021) share the outcomes of a study completed at an Australian hospital examining the impact of doctor completed checklists on the clinical coding and subsequent Diagnosis Related Group assignment. It provides findings which may be of interest to those working on improving clinical documentation. Le et al (2021) also discuss their experiences of developing and implementing a health information governance framework at a mental health service in Melbourne.

Torrens et al (2021) inform us of how the Australian Bureau of Statistics updated their mortality reporting to provide more current statistics on causes of death during the COVID-19 pandemic. This move to rapid reporting of health data and statistics has been one of many advancements delivered in a timeframe that most of us would not have thought possible before the pandemic. It would seem many of our systems as well as ourselves are more adaptable than we first thought.

Continuing the COVID-19 theme, Tsoucalas (2021) shares her perspective on being a ‘non-traditional’ Health Information Manager, and how the pandemic made it necessary for her to forge a new career path. If you enjoy the COVID-19 themed articles in this issue, keep an eye out for our special issue of HIM-Interchange on COVID-19, which will be published in the middle of the year. There is still time to write an article for the special issue if you would like to share your experiences or reflections.

In this issue, we have republished the editorial from another HIMJ special issue. The editorial is authored by Jennie Shepheard and Andrea Groom and appears in the Virtual Special Issue on the Role of Health Classifications in Health Information Management. I encourage you to read the editorial and the other articles in the special issue, and don’t forget to sign up for the email alerts at in order to be notified when new articles are published in HIMJ

Find out more about HIMAA’s new CEO, Jae Redden, and her plans for HIMAA as she answers some questions we put to her. Alongside the welcome to Jae I have a farewell too. Stella Rowlands has been a member of the HIM-Interchange Subcommittee since 2015 and the secretary for many years. Stella has been behind many of the strategies to improve and modernise HIM-Interchange, including the move to the online platform. She has been a passionate advocate for both HIMAA journals. Stella and Jennie Shepheard discuss the journey and the memories. I am sure many of you will remember Stella and her sandwich board at the national conference a few years ago. Stella, thank you for your vision, passion and hard work in getting HIM-Interchange to where it is today.

Enjoy the issue.


  • Karnik A, Karnik T, Buckley K, and Wellburn A (2021) Optimising acuity of Diagnosis Related Groups: Effectiveness of the use of a checklist for a structured review of the episode of care by junior and senior medical practitioners. HIM-Interchange 11(1).
  • Le S, Ah Yick N and McDonald J (2021) Health information governance: A framework across a Melbourne metropolitan health service. HIM-Interchange 11(1).
  • Torrens E, Moran L, and Enyestone-Hinkins J (2021) Rapid reporting of mortality data during the COVID-19 pandemic. HIM-Interchange 11(1).
  • Tsoucalas A (2021) Paving the way of an untraditional Health Information Manager during COVID-19. HIM-Interchange 11(1).


Joanne Fitzgerald