groupJoanne Fitzgerald

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Dear HIM-Interchange readers

Welcome to Issue 1 of 2022. There are some great articles in this issue that reinforce health information management as being at the forefront of some of the most important areas being discussed in Australia today. HIM-Interchange Volume 10, Number 1 contained several articles on the role of health information management in the aged care sector, which has been prominent in the media following the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

In this issue, there are reports from three students who carried out projects in Queensland hospitals that were focused on implementing changes to record keeping arising from recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has also been prominent in the media over the last couple of years. In her project, Evans (2022) analysed the most recent General Retention and Disposal Schedule issued by the Queensland Government, which had been updated to extend retention periods for records related to an abuse allegation, incident, or investigation. Evans assessed the impacts on Mater Health Service’s record keeping policies and provided recommendations to ensure compliance with the updated disposal schedule.

Preston (2022) carried out a project that was also related to the update to the General Retention and Disposal Schedule and other recommendations related to record keeping standards. However, this project focused on reviewing the processes around ‘parallel records’, where a health service has one or more records separate from the main clinical record. Preston’s project aimed to increase the awareness of the importance of parallel records at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and to educate the staff of their function and importance.

Kennedy (2022) focused on clinical records belonging to children available for adoption, developing an updated draft standard and associated guideline. All three articles provide a fascinating insight into the real world implications of records management policies, as well as hearing the personal experiences from the students who undertook these projects.

We are continuing to provide articles that inform readers on the latest in casemix and activity-based funding. In this issue read about the development of the latest version of the Australian National Subacute and Non-Acute Patient Classification. Lee and Harris (2022) outline the development process, highlight the major refinements and the basis for these refinements. I am sure you will find this article informative and if there are other areas in casemix or activity-based funding you would like to see more articles on please get in touch to let us know.

Readers will find the latest from the Health Information Management Association of Australia’s (HIMAA) recently reconvened Clinical Coder Working Group and their work on further developing Clinical Coder Competency Standards (Shepheard et al 2022). The working group is looking for participants!

In this issue we also bid a fond farewell to another long-standing member of the HIM-Interchange Subcommittee. Jennie Shepheard has stepped down after many years of dedication to HIM-Interchange and the health information management profession more broadly. Her enthusiasm, drive and practicality will be missed. Enjoy reading her reflections on her involvement with HIM-Interchange (Shepheard and Palibrk 2022) and I hope it may encourage some of you to volunteer to be involved on the subcommittee.

Finally, check out the latest from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the international Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision, and the recent editorial from the Health Information Management Journal Virtual Special Issue on health data and diversity.

It has been one year since we launched the new online platform for HIM-Interchange and the HIM-Interchange Subcommittee is developing an evaluation plan to seek feedback from members on the new platform and the journal. I hope you can contribute by sharing your views and ideas for improvements to your professional practice journal. Look out for details, which will come through HIMAA.

Enjoy the issue.


  • Evans O (2022) Applying extended retention periods to vulnerable person medical records: a student project at Mater Health Services. HIM-Interchange 12(1).
  • Kennedy W (2022) Updating the Queensland Health standard and guideline for managing the clinical records of children available for adoption. HIM-Interchange 12(1).
  • Lee C, Harris L (2022) The development of a refined classification for subacute and non-acute care – Australian National Subacute and Non-Acute Patient Classification Version 5.0. HIM-Interchange 12(1).
  • Preston H (2022) In the process we trust: the tale of a fledging Health Information Manager on placement. HIM-Interchange 12(1).
  • Shepheard J, Palibrk N (2022) Farewell Jennie Shepheard. HIM-Interchange 12(1).
  • Shepheard J, Robinson K, Muratore C, Ramsden L, Robey C, Seidel Y, Torney B, Jordan C, Williams L, Richardson S, Gjorgioski S (2022) Clinical Coder Working Group: developing performance standards for Clinical Coders. HIM-Interchange 12(1).


Joanne Fitzgerald