Health information peak bodies join forces for workforce summit
Australia’s three peak health information organisations have formalised their co-presentation of a Health Information Workforce Summit to be held in Sydney later this month.
The Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) is the latest to formalise its commitment to the summit, along with the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) and event organiser the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA).
New Zealand will also be represented. ACHI president, adjunct associate professor Klaus Veil, said college fellow Karen Day, program director for health informatics at the University of Auckland, had been invited to address the summit and provide a cross-Tasman view of the issue and possible solutions.
HIMAA president Sallyanne Wissmann said all three peak bodies hoped that the summit would provide an action plan to address the health information management workforce shortage and configuration challenges, as highlighted by the 2013 Health Workforce Australia (HWA) health information workforce report.
“[A] coordinated voice by the three peak bodies in health information will have the most to offer industry and government in navigating what is going to be an exciting journey, but one that depends on informed processes to lead to quality outcomes,” Ms Wissmann said.
HISA CEO Louise Schaper said the three organisations had worked together successfully to develop the Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) credential, which she said was an important foundation development for a range of professional entry points in health informatics.
“Australia now has over 100 certified health informaticians, but that is just scratching the surface,” Dr Schaper said. “Workforce and skills shortages in health informatics is a substantial barrier in implementing national and local eHealth programs.”
Dr Schaper will present on the CHIA credential in the workforce section of the summit, while ACHI will outline the tertiary education pathways and HIMAA will present on the challenges of career development in a changing professional environment.
Mr Veil said a coordinated approach to the various education pathways was necessary.
“Clear career paths will provide certainty for industry in clarifying workforce configuration; they will also assist professionals with their career choices,” he said.
There is also the issue of health information occupations themselves, with Ms Wissmann calling for a clearly identified unit grouping in the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classifications of Occupations (ANZSCO).
“These are just a few of the complexities that will be discussed on 30 October,” Ms Wissmann said.
“We’ve had positive interest from the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council’s health workforce principal committee, with whom the HWA report currently sits, and from the NSW government. We look forward to welcoming these and other jurisdictions to the summit.”
The summit will be held at the Dockside convention centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Friday, October 30, from 10am to 4pm.
Registration is now open and is free for HIMAA, HISA and ACHI members.
Posted in Australian eHealth