HIMAA is a not for profit organisation governed by a Board of Directors under the auspices of an association constitution. It reports to the Australian Not-for-profit and Charities Commission (ACNC), with which it is registered as a company limited by guarantee.
The Board of Directors is elected from the HIMAA membership by the membership, and delegates its authority to Committees and Working Groups of the Board to ensure governance of key activities such as membership, workforce, advocacy and leadership, education, research and standards for quality.
HIMAA relies on the volunteer contribution of members to achieve its objectives and deliver organisational governance. Membership support is provided at the local level through networking and continuing professional development (CPD) provided by State and Territory branches, through special interest groups (SIGs) and nationally through our annual conference, which is of international standing.
We are the major provider of nationally recognised training for Clinical Coders in Australia, and the national authority for the professional entry accreditation of HIM tertiary courses graduating Health Information Managers. Our Professional Credentialing Scheme offers practitioner quality assurance to the profession and employers. Our Certified Clinical Coder is the industry’s advanced standard.
HIMAA also attracts members from other countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, USA, Canada and New Zealand.
The Association has a national office in Sydney staffed to deliver functionality in membership services, education and training services, professional development, positioning and advocacy, practice and professional standards, publications and resources, communication, and corporate services.
And from the side bar of governance documents delete all Terms of Reference except that of the HIMAA Board, and delete the Board Performance Evaluation and the Branch Service Agreement.
The concept of corporate governance has proved difficult to define precisely, because it covers a large number of concepts and economic relationships that affect many people. The OECD has the following working definition of corporate governance:
“Corporate governance is the system by which business corporations are directed and controlled. The corporate governance structure specifies the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation, such as the board, managers, shareholders and other stakeholders, and spells out the rules and procedures for making decisions on corporate affairs. By doing this, it also provides the structure through which the company objectives are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance.”
This is summed up in a quote from Corporate Practices and Conduct, 3rd edition1:
“The essence of any system of good corporate governance is to allow the board and management the freedom to drive their organisation forward but to exercise that freedom within a framework of effective accountability”.
The basic principles of effective corporate governance are threefold:
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 as:
The next 5 years:
- Standing, visibility and positioning of the Profession
- Workforce, including workforce shortages, industrial issues, role substitution and institutional/performance pressure e.g. activity based funding, government policies, financial factors
- eHealth and ICT
- Positioning the Profession
- eHealth (and ICT)
- Workforce shortage
- Change management and funding/institutional pressures
HIMAA’s 2014-16 Strategic Plan responds to membership direction by addressing workforce need, and emerging issues affecting the workforce such as ABF, eHealth and industrial matters, through three key strategic priority areas (SPAs):
- Positioning and Advocacy
The plan begins by identifying the state of change to which it aspires (Vision), what the association does to achieve this state (Mission), and the values underpinning our conduct as we progress (Values).
HIMAA positions the profession to foster leadership in health information best practice to support quality healthcare.
HIMAA promotes and supports our members as the universally recognised specialists in information management at all levels of the healthcare system. We do this through positioning and advocacy, education and training, quality standards, publications and resources, and HIMAA membership networking activities at local and national levels, including an annual national conference of international standing.
- Member Focus We exist because of and for our members, offering them value in products, services, networking, advocacy and support
- Professionalism We provide high quality, ethical services based on well-informed judgement and expert knowledge of the Health Information domain
- Ethical Practice We are ethical in all of our operations and good stewards of our resources
- Equity We are equitable in the provision of services to our members, and treat everyone with respect
Strategic Priority Area 1: Positioning and Advocacy
One of the best places for members of the profession to start addressing the impact of workforce shortages, and of other changes such as in eHealth and ABF, on the standing of the profession is with ourselves. In the Positioning and Advocacy SPA, HIMAA proposes a threefold strategy involving:
- strategic HIMAA activities that advocate on behalf of the health information profession and better position members within their professional environment as a result;
- the development and provision of resources to support members advocate on behalf of their profession in their own professional environment; and
- communication of success stories at national and individual levels, both to the membership and to the stakeholder community
Professional standards will underpin policy and positions which ensure a national standing for the profession in industry and will set the benchmark for jurisdictional awards and role classifications.
Priority 1.1 Positioning the Profession
HIMAA members will notice a greater awareness of and engagement with the health information management profession in the healthcare industry, amongst government and employers.
We will be able to report an increase in the number of invitations from the healthcare industry and government to comment, make submissions and provide advice on behalf of the health information management profession.
Priority 1.2 Advocacy
We will increase the amount and effectiveness of public advocacy that HIMAA undertakes on behalf of its members and the profession.
Priority 1.3 Standing of the Profession
HIMAA members will notice an increase in the credibility of the health information management profession as defined and promoted by their professional association.
Priority 1.4 Diversification of and Specialisation in the Profession
Members will see HIMAA’s support for diversification of and specialisation in the health information management profession result in their increased acceptance as valid career paths that exemplify health information management expertise.
Priority 1.5 Health Information Management Research
As a result of its engagement with industry, HIMAA will increase the volume and type of research conducted related to health information management.
Priority 1.6 International Leadership
HIMAA will further increase its international leadership activity in health information management.
Strategic Priority Area 2: Education
Education and training is a strategic key not just to the supply of the professional workforce in health information management, but also to credentialing in occupations such as Health Information Manager and Clinical Coder that improves the standing of the profession in the health system. The Education SPA involves strategic HIMAA initiatives to educate, train and develop health information management professionals in a context of:
- sound and credentialed academic governance, and
- a well communicated career and curriculum.
Priority 2.1 Career Support and Advice
We will focus on the provision of career support and advice, and the promotion of the HIM career pathway, in order to increase the number of people being educated and trained in the health information management profession through HIMAA accredited or delivered education and training services.
Priority 2.2 Academic Governance
HIMAA will increase in the number of HIMAA accredited, certified and credentialed health information management professionals.
Priority 2.3 Clinical Coding Education and Training
Continue to develop nationally recognised VET qualifications in clinical coding at Certificate IV and Diploma levels, and deliver these at home and overseas.
Priority 2.4 Other Education and Training
HIMAA will remain the provider of choice for health information management education and training in Australia and, increasingly, overseas.
Priority 2.5 Tertiary Education in Health Information Management
HIMAA will work with course providers to increase the number of students enrolling in HIMAA accredited tertiary education courses.
Priority 2.6 Professional Development
We will work to increase in the number of HIMAA members and non-members who participate in HIMAA provided or HIMAA endorsed professional development activities, and strengthen our associated credentialing recognition for employers.
Strategic Priority Area 3: Membership
The broader the representation of the profession in our membership, the stronger the credibility of HIMAA advocacy and positioning activities. The more HIMAA credentialed professionals are members of the association, the stronger the authority of the profession’s standards in education, training and professional practice. The better the quality of networking within the profession, the stronger the value of professional unity. The Membership SPA involves strategic HIMAA initiatives to grow and support our members so that they can better network, access credentialed education and training, and advocate on behalf of the profession and its positioning within the health industry.
Priority 3.1 Increasing and Retaining our Members
The number of HIMAA members will increase as a result of HIMAA positioning and advocacy, education and training, and membership support activity.
Priority 3.2 Membership Engagement
We will be able to report an increase in the number of members actively participating in and contributing to HIMAA activities.
Priority 3.3 Resources for Professional Practice
There will be an increase in the number of current and relevant resources available to HIMAA members
Priority 3.4 HIMAA National Conference
The number of attendees at HIMAA’s national conference each year will increase, as will their perception of the conference as the primary annual lighthouse event for leadership and networking for health information professionals.