HIMAA seeks leadership from conference

This article first appeared in the August 2013edition of Pulse+IT Magazine.

The upgrade of the national inpatient clinical classification system to ICD-10-AM 8th edition will be high on the agenda at this year’s Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) national conference. A Q&A on eHealth and the PCEHR is also certain to provoke a lively debate.

If ‘Transforming Health Information: The Past, Present and Future’ is the theme of this year’s National Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) Conference in Adelaide in October, the program is certainly structured to encourage transformational leadership, HIMAA’s president, Sallyanne Wissmann, says.

“Health information managers, clinical coders, and other health information management professions have long been considered as providing valuable services to the collection and management of patient health information within the Australian healthcare system,” she says.

The history of the health information management profession in Australia has its origins in the 1940s, and since this time the requirements relating to health information management have grown and matured to being a fundamental requirement of defining, measuring and assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of Australia’s healthcare system.

The national HIMAA Conference is the leading event for people working in health information management, Ms Wissmann says.

“The 2013 HIMAA National Conference will provide attendees with a valuable, thought-provoking and engaging conference experience that will enhance networking and information sharing opportunities between health information management professionals,” she says.

This year’s conference will be opened by His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia, with the opening keynote presentation to be given by Professor Johanna Westbrook, director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research (CHSSR) at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI).

“Professor Westbrook has comprehensive research and academic experience in HIM matters, from clinician use of online decision support, computerised pathology ordering systems, and medication safety to IT use in aged care, and the communication patterns of health professionals,” Ms Wissmann says.

“Johanna’s presentation will promote the value and importance of best practice health information management enabling better health outcomes for patients.”

Past and present

Professor Phyllis Watson, one of HIMAA’s most senior members and historians whose book Health Information Management: The First Fifty Years was launched in March of this year, will present on the ‘past’ element of this year’s conference theme.

In response to the breadth of expertise represented by the health information management profession, the conference program for 2013 will again focus on two program streams: present and future challenges and developments in relation to health information management, and in clinical coding and classification.

The opening keynote presentation for the health information management stream will be by Rita Scichilone, senior advisor on global standards with the American Health Information Management Association.

Ms Scichilone will explore how the health information management profession is making its mark by embracing new views of the role of health information managers.

“Rita is involved with many standards development organisations including WHO-FIC, HL7, IHTSDO, and ISO TC 215 Health Informatics,” Ms Wissmann says. “Her presentation will address the current environment and expectations of the HIM profession combined with a lively discussion about transforming health information into health intelligence.”

Neville Board, information strategy manager with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, will outline implementation experiences with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, with a focus on their implications for HIM professionals.

“Presentations will be supplemented by a lively panel discussion on eHealth, which has featured significantly in the health information management landscape during the past 12 months due to the implementation of the national eHealth record system,” Ms Wissmann says.

“The panel is sure to explore considerations for health information management professionals in the eHealth world of sharing and accessing patient health information.

“For attendees interested in taking away practical skills and knowledge and maximising the professional development opportunities offered during the conference, a project management workshop will be run for attendees wanting to know how to manage a successful project in health.”

The coding stream

The clinical coding and classification stream of the program will commence with an opening address by Tony Sherbon, CEO, of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA). As clinical coded hospital data continues to be an underpinning requirement of the inpatient activity-based funding model by IHPA, Ms Wissmann believes this presentation will be of particular relevance to clinical coding professionals.

“In July this year, the national inpatient clinical classification system was upgraded to ICD-10-AM 8th edition. The HIMAA national conference will be the first opportunity for clinical coding professionals from around the country to meet to share their experiences using it.

“The HIMAA Education Services team will present practical, hands-on workshops in ICD-10-AM 8th edition to support clinical updates from senior clinical specialists – always a popular combination within the conference program.”

Dorothy Rao of the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council will speak on the pathway to accreditation of a coder qualification, while Julie Brophy will present the Clinical Coder Capability Framework that the Victorian government is developing to support coder training in the state’s health system.

HIMAA is planning a landmark plenary at the conference to enable members to provide feedback to their professional association on the strategic direction of HIMAA for the next three to five years. Discussions will build on a membership survey and series of focus groups conducted between May and September this year. HIMAA’s Strategic Plan for 2014-2016 will be launched in early 2014.

“At the leading edge of the profession, special interest groups (SIGs) in eHealth, health record scanning, paediatric hospitals, private hospitals, and regional HIM will meet at the conference, and a National Coding SIG will be launched along with a national HIMAA Coding Advisory Committee,” Ms Wissmann says.

“The conference will conclude with a light-hearted and entertaining debate about the evolution of the profession under the theme: Everything Old Is New.”

The HIMAA National Conference 2013 will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Adelaide from October 21 to 23.

Further information and registration is now available at http://himaa2.org.au/conference/

Posted in Australian eHealth

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