News

  • The Health Information Management Interchange (Interactive version) is now available from the members area of the website. Please log in to view it.

  • As part of the research for the development of this Strategic Plan, members were asked to identify the challenges and issues facing the profession for both the next 5 years and for the future 5-10 years. The key challenges and issues facing the profession were identified by members and are available HERE

  • HIMAA now has a page on LinkedIn - please follow us there!

  • As university students around the country commence their academic year, the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) asks why must it be the last opportunity for students in two states, two territories and anywhere in rural Australia to have distance learning access to a career in Health Information Management?

    Click on the link below to view the press release (PDF).

  • CHIA HAS ARRIVED!

    After much planning, preparation, checking and re-checking, we are finally able to bring you the official launch of the Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) program.

    CHIA is Australia's first ever credential for health informaticians.

    To stay up to date with all things CHIA, sign up to this mailing list by clicking HERE.
    Visit the website now by clicking HERE.

    What you need to know

    1. The CHIA website is now live and contains full information about the exam, how it works, eligibility and benefits.
    2. The exam is now live and you can register and start studying for it right now!
    3. We're here to help if you have any problems, comments or questions. Please feel free to contact us.

    CONTACT :
    Suzanna Zhang (HISA)
    03 9326 3311
    suzanna'AT'hisa.org.au

    Visit the website, HERE.

  • HIMAA and HISA have lodged a joint submission to the PCEHR Review based on a snap survey conducted online last week.

    In just a 3 day turnaround, 673 individuals came forward to respond to the main issues raised by the Review Panel:
    • Involvement with PCEHR
    • Expectations and Consultation
    • Use (of PCEHR)
    • Barriers to usage
    • Usability
    • Future work required
    • Key drivers and incentives
    • Private sector involvement
    • Standards

    A BIG THANK YOU to the overwhelming number of HIMAA members who responded. We have, as a result, been able to make 9 key recommendations including:
    • integration of health information/informatics professionals into current and future PCEHR and related infrastructure design, build and implementation
    • simplification of the PCEHR registration process, particularly for health providers
    • fast-tracking of universal hospital participation in the PCEHR
    • vesting authority for the development and maintenance of technical and professional standards and associated engagement and change management strategies in the professional bodies concerned, rather than in the private sector or in government bureaucracy.

    HIMAA congratulates HISA on a successful collaboration in this advocacy venture, and we look forward to many more.

    To view the joint submission, click on the link below.

  • As the independent facilitator for the development of Australian Standards relating to the PCEHR, Standards Australia forwarded its’ submission to the Review Panel on Friday 22 November 2013.

    In the interests of transparency, the Standards Australia submission has been posted to the e-Health website http://www.e-health.standards.org.au/Home/News.aspx and a copy has been attached to this email for your viewing.

  • Quality health records in Australian primary healthcare: A guide was developed by an inter-professional Advisory Group in consultation with colleagues across the Australian primary healthcare sector. The guide is:

    • designed to assist health professionals produce, manage and use high quality health records that are fit for a range of purposes including safe clinical decision making, good communication with other health professionals, trustworthy partnerships with patients and effective continuity of patient care.
    • applicable to all health professionals operating in the Australian primary healthcare sector whether as solo practitioners, members of single-discipline practice teams, members of multidisciplinary practice teams or members of larger organisations.
    • comprehensive in covering electronic health record systems, paper-based health record systems and hybrid health record systems and describes a set of core principles and practical examples to illustrate particular principles in day-to-day clinical practice.
  • 10.30am Adelaide, Tuesday 16 July 2013

    The Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) is pleased to announce to members the launch of a national certification program for health informaticians at the Health Informatics Conference in Adelaide this morning.

    Along with the Australian College of Health Informatics (ACHI), HIMAA is one of three partners brought together by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) to develop the competencies and examination structure for this inaugural program of professional development for health informatics in Australia.

    HIMAA has enjoyed a strong relationship with HISA since its formation in 1992, and is aware of the consistent journey of development and advocacy health informatics has undertaken in Australia under HISA’s stewardship. The pace of growth in health informatics and health information management has been rapid over the past two decades, and there is no sign of it abating any time soon.

    HIMAA felt the need to introduce its own certification scheme in 2007, to support health information management professionals in maintaining and improving levels of skill and knowledge attained through their original qualifications. Our choice was to offer ongoing credentialing of professional qualifications already accredited by HIMAA against established competency standards, and to offer an ongoing certification program for HIMAA members based on continuing professional development.

    As an emerging professional field, health informatics has not been well defined. Qualifications are many and varied, with the profession yet to achieve a unifying set of competencies and assessment of knowledge and skill against which the health informatics profession, as a whole, can benchmark quality of practice and performance.

    With the launching of the Certified Health Informatician Australia program, HISA has achieved this important step in the identification and unification of the profession. Today’s announcement, and the program of preparation and examination that underpins it, places Australia on the international health informatics map.

    HIMAA congratulates its colleagues in the health informatics disciplines for achieving this important landmark in professional recognition, and looks forward to working alongside HISA and ACHI in supporting the delivery of this welcome contribution to our complementary professional development platforms. We particularly thank and applaud HISA for its inter-professional generosity in assuming the lead agency role in this endeavour.

    Sallyanne Wissmann
    President.


    Click HERE to download this anouncement in PDF

  • 2013 HIM Entry-Level Competency Standards
    Click HERE to download in PDF.

  • Eurofield Information Solutions (EIS) is also proud to announce the release of the enhanced TurboCoder with turbosearch.

    View the turbosearch online demonstration at www.TurboCoder.com.au

    The new turbosearch features:

    Pre-emptive Search Help (PSH) detects when you have keyed three characters and offers a list of suggestions directly from the classification content. It will also provide suggestions for incorrectly spelt words.

    Lead Term Search enables you to go directly to the Lead Terms in the Disease and Intervention Indexes providing a fast one click direct link to the code you require.

    You can narrow or broaden your search with one click. Use the new turbosearch toolbar ‘toggle’ to change from ‘Lead Term’ in the Indexes to search ‘Everywhere’ in the classification.

    And the best news – turbosearch is freely available NOW to all current TurboCoder subscribers.

    Purchase and download directly at HERE

  • SNOMED-CT to ICD-10-CM Mapper has been announced ny the NLM. A working demonstration is available on-line here.

  • If you are looking to refresh your career in the new year do it the right way. Follow HIMAA WorkWeb on twitter. You will be notified of new positions as soon as they are listed in our WorkWeb pages. Whether you use your smartphone or desktop PC follow WorkWeb on twitter and be the first to know about the latest advertised positions for HIM and Clinical Coding professionals.

  • A very short, interesting introduction to SNOMED-CT. Also has links to other SNOMED resources.

  • HIMAA Advocacy/Representation

    • As a result of a HIMAA submission, HIMAA has been invited to nominate representatives to NeHTA’s Stakeholder Reference Forum and Clinical Terminology & Information Reference Group.
    • HIMAA is represented on Standards Australia’s IT 14-02 sub-committee, which is working on a revision to AS2828, among other things.
    • HIMAA was represented at the DoHA forum to discuss the PCEHR Legislation Issues Paper on 25 July 2011.
    • Along with HISA and ACHSM, HIMAA has been invited to collaborate with NeHTA to facilitate the “rollout” of its systems.
    • A number of HIMAA Board members attended various workshops conducted by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) in relation to its National Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategic Framework for Action. In a “sidebar” conversation the HWA representatives specifically acknowledged their new found recognition of the essential role played by HIMs in achieving the healthcare reform agenda.
    • Vicki Bennett co-chairs the Australian Health Informatics Education Council.
    • HIMAA has representation on the NCCC ICD Technical Group (formerly Coding Standards Advisory Committee) and the NCCC DRG Technical Group (formerly Clinical Casemix Committee of Australia).
    • HIMAA has remained actively involved with Professions Australia, of which HIMAA is a member.
    • Formal submissions have recently been made to:
      • Health Workforce Australia regarding a Health Informatics Workforce Scoping Study,
      • DoHA regarding the Draft PCEHR Concept of Operations,
      • QLD Health regarding an internal discussion paper on future workforce capabilities in Health Informatics, and
      • NSW Health regarding its proposed scheme for the training of clinical coders.
  • Multi-touch screen devices which you can carry any where, surf the web perform basic word processing applications and also read a journal, listen to audio casts. This is what health care professionals are looking at.

    Many manufactures, ventured on this territory-noticeably,Cruchpad or JooJoo was a device with limited functions, it enabled you to surf the web and watch videos, but with the price at more that $300, it was not exciting enough.

    Kindle, was promising but it performed only one function-to read e-books and surf the web on grey scale.

    Ultra-light mobile computing devices generated a lot of interest among manufactures, they were portable and multi media rich enabled device, but the thumb mouse and split keyboard in some of the devices like Samsung Q1 didn’t come across as easy to learn for consumers.

    Apple studied these mistakes with care- remember Apple Newton.When Iphone was released at first it was popular as it was smart, small, sexy using sensor based touch screen. It was also internet based with multimedia rich applications product. Over the span of few years, many applications were built around it resulting in the tremendous popularity of Iphone.

    Courtesy of: Constructive Medicine

  • The following story appears on Dr David More's Blog, "Australian Health Information Technology" at: http://aushealthit.blogspot.com.

    NHS pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system

    After nine years and with billions already spent, doomed computer system is abandoned

    By Oliver Wright, Whitehall Editor
    Wednesday, 3 August 2011

    A plan to create the world's largest single civilian computer system linking all parts of the National Health Service is to be abandoned by the Government after running up billions of pounds in bills. Ministers are expected to announce next month that they are scrapping a central part of the much-delayed and hugely controversial 10-year National Programme for IT.

    Instead, local health trusts and hospitals will be allowed to develop or buy individual computer systems to suit their needs – with a much smaller central server capable of "interrogating" them to provide centralised information on patient care. News of the Government's plans comes as a damning report from a cross-party committee of MPs concludes that the £11.4bn programme had proved "beyond the capacity of the Department of Health to deliver".

    The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that, while the intention of creating a centralised database of electronic patient records was a "worthwhile aim", a huge amount of money had been wasted.

    "The department has been unable to demonstrate what benefits have been delivered from the £2.7bn spent on the project so far," Margaret Hodge, chair of the PAC, said. "It should now urgently review whether it is worth continuing with the remaining elements of the care-records system. The £4.3bn which the department expects to spend might be better used to buy systems that are proven to work, that are good value for money and which deliver demonstrable benefits to the NHS." A further £4.4bn was expected to be spent on other areas of the vast IT project.

    The nine-year-old NHS computer project – the biggest civilian IT scheme ever attempted – has been in disarray since it missed its first deadlines in 2007. The project has been beset by changing specifications, technical challenges and clashes with suppliers, which has left it years behind schedule and way over cost.

    Accenture, the largest contractor involved, walked out on contracts worth £2bn in 2006, writing off hundreds of millions of pounds in the process. Months earlier, the US supplier IDX, contracted to provide software in and around London, had also withdrawn from the project, making a $450m (£275m) provision against future losses from the two contracts.

    The PAC said part of the problem had been weak leadership in the department. "The department could have avoided some of the pitfalls and waste if they had consulted at the start of the process with health professionals," it said.

    Read the whole story HERE.

  • The purpose of this article is to describe how I have been able to use “cloud technology” to simplify the process of getting useful clinical information from my patients. Since I am a neurologist, I have more than a passing interest in the management of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The successful management of this condition is highly dependent on the patient-physician communication regarding how their disease state is responding to their Parkinson regimen. Too much medication causes involuntary movements while inadequate dopamine stimulation results in the inability to move. Since there are several different Parkinson’s medications, all of which have different half-lives and durations of actions, the resultant clinical effectiveness is highly variable. Therefore, correlating clinical status with timing of medication ingestion is the only reliable means to make appropriate medication adjustments.

    Ideally, a patient log or journal should be completed at half hour intervals to capture this information. An analogous condition in Primary Care would be regulating a Diabetic. Insulin type and dosage need to be correlated with blood glucose determinations obtained throughout the day in order to optimize the Insulin regimen.

    Courtesy: Dr Steven Zuckerman, MD. Read the whole article HERE.

  • 85. Test, retest, and test the network and wireless

    Far too many EHR implementations fail because of basic technology issues. Of course, the blame usually gets placed squarely on the head of the EHR company. However, in many of the cases, the EHR company has no control over the issues you have. Your local wireless and network is one place where you can doom an EHR installation and the EHR company can do nothing about it. If you want to have a great EHR installation make sure you have a great network and/or wireless infrastructure set up and tested.

    84. Have ONE number to call

    This recommendation applies more to large EMR installations than it does to small ones. The basic suggestion is not to give one phone number for EMR issues (ie. I can’t login) and another for technology related issues (ie. my PC crashed). The problem with multiple lines is that people don’t generally know the difference between an EMR issue and a PC issue. At the end of the day, they’re likely to consider almost everything an EMR issue. So, they’re going to call the same number anyway. You might as well just have one number that knows how to triage the issue well and direct them to the right support resource.

    83. Remember who the support team’s customers are

    Another recommendation for hospital EHR support. It is a great idea to remember that the support team’s customers are the clinicians that are calling for help. Prepare them for the calls they’re going to get. While clinicians are highly educated, that doesn’t guarantee that their education included even basic computer skills. You’ll be surprised how many of the issues have to do with basic computer skills as much as any EMR specific support.

    Courtesy of: EMR and EHR Forum. Read more Here.

  • Regarding ICD-10, Australia has already "been there, done that." In Hayes' recent webinar, our guest speaker, health information manager Debbie Abbott, relayed some lessons learned from her experience rolling out ICD-10 to more than 200 facilities in Queensland, AU.

    Debbie's team consisted of three major working parties: impact assessment, education and information technology. Key issues included: IT systems, vendor readiness, implementation plan/coordinators, education, DRG changes, output rates, identification of key stakeholders, and support.

    Tips to overcome issues included:

    • Predicting impact of output rates (program), ongoing education 18 months prior to implementation (all stakeholders)
    • Focusing on processes
    • Involving all stakeholders
    • Putting the right people in the right roles (in the working parties)
    • Providing education tailored to end users - not everyone needs to know everything. They also gave end users various ways to learn, including online, in person, etc.

    And get this: Everyone LOVES ICD-10!

    We were happy to hear that everyone Debbie works with loves ICD-10! She cited better classification, fewer "dump codes" (e.g., non-defined DX codes ending in 9 and 0) and better processes. They took the opportunity to enhance their workflows and processes during the transition.

    It has been 12 years now that Australia has been using ICD-10, and Debbie reported that the impact was minimal.

    Overall, Debbie said that their focus on education, early preparation and good work groups were the keys to their success. Now they are preparing for ICD-11 in 2015!

    Courtesy: ADVANCE for HIM

  • Link: Process Variation Podcast

    As more Physicians and Hospitals strive to meet requirements for Meaningful Use incentives, the topic of process variation comes to mind. Generally speaking, Nurses observe variation in all patient encounters. Some variations represent downward trends in patient stability or condition, while others trend upward with improved conditions and wellness. Often negative variations cause immediate clinical action, interventions and/or treatments.

    I had not given much thought to the topic of process variation and its management as a tool to reduce costs and improve care until I heard this podcast from Hospitals & Health Networks. The ability to manage, recognize and act upon patient status trends in real-time has the potential to improve the quality of health care delivery and to lower cost of care. An interesting thought..

    Click on this link to read a recent article from BMJ 2011 on the topic: The meaning of variation to healthcare managers, clinical and health-services researchers, and individual patients.

    Courtesy: Healthcare & Technology

  • Each year, billions of pieces of health data are generated as patients visit the doctor’s office, go to the ER, undergo procedures and answer the requisite personal questions at each location. That doesn’t include the volumes of patient data generated by health plans, pharmacies, labs or even the patients themselves. Alarmingly, the majority of this data is not easily transferred, shared or made actionable./p>

    The price we pay? An astounding $404 billion for poor healthcare coordination as shown in this The Price We Pay for a Broken Healthcare System infographic. In a more light-hearted attempt to exemplify the many issues, challenges and frustrations associated with the lack of health data coordination, Jonathan Rauch of The National Journal brings to life the inexcusable state of healthcare coordination today (you can access the video too.)

    All healthcare stakeholders – patients, providers and health plans, are challenged by the lack of interoperability and high administrative costs associated with simple tasks such as scheduling patient appointments. A Markle Survey identified that close to 80% of both the public and doctors want hospitals and doctors to share information to better coordinate care, cut unnecessary costs and reduce medical errors. One Marlin & Associates report identified the high costs associated with manual administrative transactions and the use of paper records – a staggering $150 Billion per year.

    Courtesy: HL7 Standards.

  • My family and I have escaped this week to our favorite vacation destination, Pensacola Beach. And so I sit here writing in the cozy confines of the condo that we call home for close to a week nearly every summer. I gave barely a thought to how I was going to transmit this blog to the HealthcareScene.com servers while here. As it turns out, there is no WiFi, which means I’m relying on my iPhone to do a bit of online research, my laptop for Word, and the hotel across the street’s business center with which to cobble it all together.

    My connectivity issues pale, of course, in comparison to those of providers working outside of their hospital’s four walls – be it in emergency situations such as the aftermath of a hurricanes like Ivan and Dennis, which hit Pensacola back in 2004 and 2005, respectively, or as part of a routine provider/patient encounter in telehealth programs. I wonder how providers at Pensacola’s Sacred Heart Hospital, where I was born (and no, I’m not telling you what year), handled patient care in the aftermath of Ivan, which devastated the town and outlying beach communities, and how mobile health solutions might better enable them should Mother Nature pay the same sort of visit today.

    Courtesy of the EMR Newsletter

  • SIN: Singapore to Combat Dengue With Facebook and Twitter

    Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) is going to use new media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, to fight dengue fever. They plan to release dengue updates on the new media channels that will provide information on, for example, the latest dengue clusters or areas that have been earmarked as high-risk. According to the Jakarta Globe, the goal is to realize these plans within the next three months.

    The information is currently available only on the dengue website of the NEA and through a NEA iPhone application, which was released in early July this year. With the use of Facebook and Twitter, the public will be enabled to post feedback and provide information, if Singaporeans notice an increase of mosquitoes in a certain area.

    The NEA is also developing software that can identify the species of mosquito from a photograph. It could enable NEA personnel to identify larvae, pupae or mosquitoes of the Aedes species, which spreads the dengue viruses. They plan to integrate this software with the iPhone app to make it available for the public as well.

    These new measures will complement existing strategies. Singapore already uses methods of close monitoring and applying preventive measures to control dengue outbreaks.

    Jakarta Globe:

  • Larry Dignan, Editor-in- Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as ZDNet’s sister site TechRepbulic has an interesting piece up today titled “Assessing the corporate tablet field: Why the enterprise may be different”. In it he lays out a series of pros and cons for each potential tablet contender in addition to the primary criteria enterprise markets will look at when making their decisions. The two factors the article focuses on are bundling for price advantages and integration. Let’s take a quick look at those two areas in relation to HP and the TouchPad to see if they have what it takes to be a real contender in the corporate world.

  • For the first time the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) conference will feature an Implementation Showcase.

    The IHTSDO Working Sessions and Implementation Showcase will take place in Sydney, Australia on October 10 – 14. In line with this years theme 'Implementing SNOMED CT: Realizing the Benefits', the Showcase will allow attendees to interact with SNOMED CT implementers from around the world who will share their first hand knowledge about the challenges, benefits and lessons learned of implementation. Workshops and education sessions will focus on approaches to implementing SNOMED CT for beginners as well as for advanced users. Session attendees will also have an opportunity to visit vendors in the vendor exhibit area.

    In addition, meetings of the Quality, Content, Technical, and Implementation and Innovation Committees will be open for attendees to join the discussions.

    The October Working Sessions and Implementation Showcase provides a valuable opportunity for attendees to learn more about the latest in terminology products in health systems, services and products from around the world.

    The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) administers SNOMED CT licensing in Australia on behalf of IHTSDO and makes it available for use within the Australian eHealth community.