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See beyond: Ensuring the future of the Australian Health Information Management profession.

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Presentation on theme: "See beyond: Ensuring the future of the Australian Health Information Management profession."— Presentation transcript:

1 See beyond: Ensuring the future of the Australian Health Information Management profession

2 2 Looking at the bigger picture: some future thinking The HIM profession will: Further establish legitimate role in whole-of-health: diverse range of sub-sectors and areas Further specialise

3 3 Diversify, expand, embrace other occupational groups with natural synergy Restructure to enable pathways into and upwards in the ‘wide’ profession of health information management

4 4 Back to the present … Ensuring the future of the profession Critical inter-connecting factors underpin our profession and enable us to call ourselves HIM professionals What is our status as a ‘profession’? What sets HIM apart, as a profession?

5 5 The criteria for a profession The ‘profession’: is a full-time occupation comprising principal source of the individual’s income has a formal organisation, eg an association, to protect and enhance interests of the members sets its own criteria for, and control over, access to membership has established performance standards and mechanisms to maintain them

6 6 The members: have recognised, common occupational interests identify with their professional peers possess useful knowledge gained through specialised training and education of considerable duration and difficulty demonstrate a service orientation have clients exert autonomy in the use of their exceptional, profession-specific knowledge

7 7 The profession has rules governing competence and the maintenance and improvement of standards or a code of ethics, governing conscientious performance of loyalty and service

8 8 Professional activities – founded on a core knowledgebase which is specific to the individual professional group The profession as a community Education Culture Controlling entry

9 9 Professional jurisdiction and dominance A profession typically identifies itself through its professional association (HIMAA), its code of ethics, and specific educational competencies or standards = all integral parts of the Australian HIM profession.

10 10 Challenges for the HIM profession Eg. Compare with computer industry workers Most new professional tasks come from changes in technologies and organisations. Best for a profession to define its territory or absorb relevant peripheral groups

11 11 Rapid growth of new knowledge and techniques for doing work threatens some occupations with extinction and others with technical obsolescence unless the workers can manage to keep current. Need to keep up with finer and finer degrees of specialisation (eg coding, clinical terminologies, EHR) Resistance to specialisation – likely to develop growing levels of professional incompetence, relative to continually changing standards.

12 12 A profession’s authority … highest when relatively small numbers, high demand, poorly organised employment arena. Conversely: professional authority can be eclipsed where consumers of the profession’s services are highly organised, especially where the professional is a salaried staff member. Challenge: HIMs are ‘professional’ workers on one hand, and part of ‘management’ (bureaucracy) on the other.

13 13 Foundations and connections essential for the future of the HIM profession 1.The professional association: HIMAA For continued existence, graduates must join, and remain members. Without increased membership, professional association cannot survive.

14 14 2. Education of HIM professionals – education and oversight of entry to the profession. Graduate competencies. HIM course accreditation. Links with Universities to maintain relevance of course content. If HIMAA did not maintain competencies or accredit courses, any university could set up a HIM course with any content and call the graduates ‘HIMs’. Value of legitimate HIM degrees would be diminished without identifiable standards for entry and discrete body of knowledge that sets HIMs apart from other occupational groups.

15 15 Education of HIM professionals, con’t Continuing education: maintenance of professional development, currency of professional knowledge and practice.

16 16 3. Health Information Management Journal Central vehicle for: i)exchange of ideas; ii)dissemination of information about innovations and developments. Peer-reviewed articles necessary for: development of formal body of knowledge in the ‘literature’, and HIM reputations, credibility, and funding, in universities.

17 17 4. A public presence as the informed and authoritative body Promotion and marketing of the profession. –Model must suit size of profession AND its resources AND the high level of importance of health information policy. Formally informing discussion, debate and policy on health information, its developments and its management – national and state levels.

18 18 Summary Profession is in a position to leap ahead and take the opportunities to develop and expand. If HIMs choose not to join their professional association, future viability under threat. The existing HIM professional structures are very sound. These need to be valued and nurtured. THE END!

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