The Research Advisory Committee is an advisory committee to the HIMAA Board.
The role of the Research Advisory Committee is to:
- Contribute to the development and implementation of HIMAA’s strategic plan as it relates to research;
- Develop a work plan to support health information management related and health related research;
- Develop a strategy to support the funding of health information management related research;
- Provide a representative to relevant HIMAA committees, specifically the Tertiary Education Sub-Committee and the Professional Development Sub-Committee, to advise on education, training, and professional development opportunities for members undertaking research;
- Provide a representative to the HIMAA National Conference Committee to advise on conference proceedings relevant to health information management related research;
- Prioritise and discuss issues of relevance to research in order to provide expert advice to the HIMAA Board;
- Identify and recommend to the HIMAA Board opportunities to promote research collaboration, opportunities and initiatives;
- Develop and monitor the content of the resource section of the HIMAA website related to research to ensure resources for members remain current and comprehensive;
- Consider and draft responses on HIMAA’s behalf to health information management research relevant submissions and papers;
- Monitor and report on activity in the research sector that may be of strategic interest or concern to HIMAA.
Dr Mary Lam
University of Technology Sydney | Mary.Lam@uts.edu.au
Dr Mary Lam is a member of HIMAA, a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) and a Fellow of Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI), with many years of experience in health information management and health data science. After years of practice in the industry, she has developed an academic career with a focus on promoting health information and health data science education and research. Her research interest areas include data linkage, visualisation of textual data (SNA), and professional training in health information, and is dedicated to mentor professionals in the field in the area of analytic research.
Tanija is a Certified Health Information Manager (CHIM), a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) working at eHealth Queensland. Tanija’s qualifications include Masters in Business Administration, Project Management and Health Information Management. Tanija has worked as a Health Information Manager for over 20 years in both NSW Health and Queensland Health, and has a passion for health information/informatics within the digital health environment.
Dr Joan Henderson
BAppSc (HIM) (Hons 1); PhD (Med)
Joan has worked as a senior academic at the University of Sydney since Jan 2000. She was Deputy Director of the Family Medicine Research Centre and Co-investigator of the internationally recognised national BEACH program, which ran continually from April 1998 to March 2016. She retains affiliation with the University (Faculty of Medicine & Health), supervising/mentoring Higher Degree Research students, and is currently a Chief Investigator on an NHMRC project. Joan is also the current Editor of Health Information Management Journal (HIMJ), the international peer-reviewed journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia. She has co-authored/published 33 books, 49 articles in refereed journals, 54 conference presentations, and over 500 commissioned research reports. Her interests are in advancing the knowledge base and increasing the capacity of HIMs to participate in research about the breadth of activities undertaken by HIMs and clinical coders.
Dr Kerin Robinson
BAppSc(MRA), BHA, MHP, PhD, CHIM
Kerin has had a very lengthy academic career and wide-ranging practice experience as a health information consultant, healthcare quality management consultant and Health Information Manager. She was previously La Trobe University’s Head of the Discipline of Health Information Management, and Course Co-ordinator of the undergraduate and post-graduate health information management qualifying degrees, Graduate Certificate in Health Data Integrity & Auditing, and Short Course in Clinical Coding Auditing. Kerin is affiliated with La Trobe University as Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Psychology & Public Health, where she supervises and examines research theses and mentors in health information management research projects. She is currently Editor in Chief of Health Information Management Journal and HIM-Interchange. Her research interests in health information management and clinical coding work, and in building the profession’s research capacity, are also underpinned by her doctoral research on the historiography and work of the health information management profession in Australia.
Dr Anupama Ginige
Western Sydney University
Dr Anupama Ginige is a health informatician working at Western Sydney University, Australia. She is currently researching in the areas of: clinical text analysis using Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, predictive analysis based on health data, and using technology for healthy behavioural promotion. Dr Ginige has over fifteen years of experience as an academic. Prior to that she has worked in the information technology industry. She is currently supervising a number of doctoral candidates and leading both research and technology consultancy projects.
Royal North Shore Hospital
Gowri Sriraman works as a Clinical Coder at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. She is a Certified Health Informatician of Australasia (CHIA) and a member of the Australian College of Health Informatics (MACHI). She is a Fellow of the College of Health Services Managers (FCHSM) and a Senior Associate Member of HIMAA. Her qualifications include Bachelors in Pharmacy and Masters in Management. She has extensive experience working in NSW Health. She loves to both learn and share her learning. She is active on social media and invites you to connect with her.
La Trobe University
Jenn Lee, an excited Sydney HIM who worked in public health, witnessing the increasing implementation of information technologies that has transformed information management practice. Jenn’s professional qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, the postgraduate certificate in Applied Science (HIM), Master of Adult Education, CHIA and CHIM accreditations. Professional experience is very much industry-focussed working as a Health Information Manager, in rural and metropolitan contexts before transitioning into the Teaching-focussed lecturing role at La Trobe. Jenn has postgraduate studies in her future pursuits including exploring the educator’s role for Health Information Managers in industry practice.
Alishia Ballintine has a keen interest in applied health research and its use to inform evidence based best practice and health care commissioning. Alishia has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the field of health science and works in a procurement and commissioning capacity for a regional Primary Health Network. This role coupled with an extensive background in clinical research affords her a unique perspective on both the management of health information and applied research translation. Alishia is an active member on a number of Consumer Advisory Boards namely in the fields of stem cell research, cerebral palsy and preterm infants.
Laura McVey currently works for Mater Group as an Information Management Specialist and is studying a Master in Public Health. Laura graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Health Science (Health Information Management) in 2010. Since then, Laura has also completed her Graduate Certificate in Health Management. Laura has worked in different health settings from large metropolitan public and private facilities to rural and remote public facilities. While undertaking her current studies in Public Health, Laura developed an interest in research. Laura is very keen to promote research within the profession and contribute to the body of knowledge.
The Research Advisory Committee established the 2019‐2022 HIMAA research priority areas to align with the HIMAA Strategic Plan.
This was informed by the findings from the trends analysis, consultation with members of the Editorial Board of HIMAA’s scholarly journal, and with various researchers and practitioners in this field. This information was consolidated during a workshop of the Research Advisory Committee into the three themes: Systems and Technology, People and Processes. The interplay between Systems and Technology, People and Processes is required for the day‐to‐day functioning and long‐term sustainability of any organisation, including healthcare organisations of any size.
High-Level Categorisation of Research Priority Areas
SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES
- Terminologies and Classifications
- Intergenerational workforce
- Tribes and territories
- Skills and knowledge
- Lifelong learning
- Value of the Health Information Management profession
- Future workforce configuration
- Process Modelling
- Process Analysis
- Benchmarking of processes
- Process Optimisation
- Full or semi automation of processes
SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES
Research Priority – Technologies
To examine the impact of new technologies on health data management and regulation. To determine both the level of interaction between new and legacy systems, and the interoperability between different systems and platforms. To evaluate the user interaction with technologies in health and impact on information quality.
Research Priority – Technologies
To explore the extent of artificial intelligence within the health sector and determine directions for future development.
To evaluate the use, management and regulation of data collected through wearable technologies.
Research Priority – Terminologies and Classifications
To evaluate terminology and classification mapping in health. To explore the impact of greater automation on data volume and quality, information regulation, workforce functions, and professional ethics.
Research Priority – Standards
To explore how advances in technology will change how privacy and security of health data is managed in health.
Research Priority – Data
To examine ways in which data lakes have been established in other industries and use lessons from this to guide the implementation of data lakes in health.
Research Priority – Intergenerational workforce
To examine the extent of intergenerational effect in the Health Information Management profession and explore the long‐term impact on the workforce.
Research Priority – Tribes and territories
To examine the impact of technology on the Health Information Management profession, and in particular the evolution of tribes and territories within the greater health information workforce.
Research Priority – Skills and knowledge
To empirically explore the transformation in the skills and knowledge of the Health Information Management profession.
Research Priority – Skills and knowledge
To explore the pedogeological needs of the Health Information Management profession.
Research Priority – Lifelong learning
To evaluate the continuous professional development needs of the Health Information Management profession.
Research Priority – Value of the Health Information Management profession
To evaluate the value of the Health Information Management profession.
Research Priority – Future workforce configuration
To map the future configuration of the Health Information Management profession, including career pathways.
Research Priority – Process Modelling
To carry‐out analytical visual representation of ‘as‐is’ processes (e.g. process related to, but not limited to: coding, auditing, ABF, documentation, reporting, data linkage, etc.), in order to recognise the structure and nuances of current processes.
Research Priority – Process Analysis
To conduct a deep‐dive holistic analysis of existing processes in identifying expensive, wasteful, time‐consuming and unproductive aspects of ‘as‐is’ processes, with the objective of development of more efficient ‘to‐be’ processes.
Research Priority – Benchmarking of processes
To conduct comparative studies of similar processes, between two different healthcare organisations or an organisation in an entirely different industry sector, to discover best practices and possible avenues of improvements.
Research Priority – Process Optimisation
To study the ways in which how processes can be improved to optimise the use of existing human resources with techniques such as process re‐engineering, automation, efficient monitoring, etc.; in order to maximise throughput and/or efficiency while minimising cost.
Research Priority – Full or semi automation of processes
To carry‐out exploratory studies on ways in which processes can be partially or fully automated, using appropriate and future proof technologies that will enhance the use of current human workforce.
It is important to share your research ideas and results with the broader research community and your colleagues. This will enable growth in the knowledge-base of your discipline area and facilitate the application of your research into policy and practice. Publication ensures that your research activities are communicated with your colleagues. They can learn from your work and vice versa.
The peer review process in scientific journals is an essential component of the publication process. It provides very useful feedback to the authors from experts in the area, on how their paper may be better structured and how their results may be better communicated.
Two key platforms for publishing your research are:
- Publication in a Scientific Journal
- Presentation at a Conference and subsequent publication of the abstract or full research paper in the Conference Proceedings.
Another consideration is to publish a book chapter or book, however the information below will focus on journal article publication only.
Individual scientific journals will have guidelines on how to publish. Key journals in the area of management of health information are listed below and each will have specific guidelines which need to be followed when submitting papers.
- Health Information Management Journal (HIMJ)
- International Journal of Medical Informatics
- Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
- Journal of Medical Internet Research
- IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
- Telemedicine Journal and e-Health
- Healthcare Informatics Research
- Health information and libraries journal
- Health Information Science and Systems
- Journal of innovation in health informatics
They will also detail the scope of the journal, that is, the research areas which that journal is interested in, and the types of submissions the journal will consider (for example, research paper, perspective piece, systematic literature review etc). It is important to consider which journal is appropriate for your research
Useful tips on how to publish
There are websites with useful information on how to publish responding to reviewers’ feedback and other useful tips for publishing research.
Elsevier booklet above is an excellent resource – https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/91173/61852_Understanding-the-Publishing-Process_May2017_web.pdf
Journal article on the peer review process – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474310/
Seven (7) steps to publishing in a scientific journal –
Common sense tips on getting published – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jan/03/how-to-get-published-in-an-academic-journal-top-tips-from-editors
How to publish and deal with rejection –
How to get published –
HIMAA Research Grant Scheme open for applications
The HIMAA Board of Directors and the Research Advisory Committee are pleased to announce that the 2021 HIMAA Research Grant Scheme is now open for applications.
The HIMAA Research Grant scheme aims to fund worthy health information management related projects, with a total of $5,000 available in funding for projects commencing in 2021. As the scheme aims to fund as many projects as possible, applications are capped at $2,000.
Applications for funding should fall within the scope of the HIMAA Research Grants Scheme. Applicants are advised to read the Advice to Applicants available at the Scheme website. Projects should be directly linked to the HIMAA Research Priority Areas.
Applications should address the following:
- Promote evidence-based workforce practices through improvements in procedures and workforce, and
- Where possible facilitate collaborative partnerships between government, non-government and research sectors to promote the growth of health information management research.
Applications are now open and should be submitted using the application form available on the Grant Scheme website. Applications are due 11:59pm 30 June 2021 and should be submitted electronically to email@example.com
All questions should be directed to the Chair, Research Advisory Committee, at the above email address.
Exploring the impact of the ieMR on duplicate patient records
Research team: Shannon Sumner
After working at Hospital A in various roles in Health Information Management Services, my career as a Health Information Manager (HIM) officially began in 2017. As it turned out, this was an ideal time to enter the profession as it allowed me to be involved in the transition from a completely paper medical records system, to an electronic medical records system. Following the transition to the ieMR in late 2018, it was very quickly evident that the number of duplicate patient records being created within the Hospital and Health Service (HHS) was exceedingly higher than pre go-live. It wasn’t long until I commenced investigating potential causes for this, and now, working as a HIM at Hospital B it’s interesting to compare the similarities and differences in duplicate record creation between the facilities. Having been recently awarded a HIMAA research grant, I look forward to exploring this issue in greater detail.
By analysing Hospital A duplicate record data from pre and post ieMR implementation, I hope to target areas of the HHS where duplicate records are most frequently created to determine the primary cause of the increase. Potential aspects for investigation will include changes to workflow, increased workplace demands while adapting to new software and processes, the use of FirstNet for initial patient searches, and reductions in general education from HIMs due to competing priorities directly prior to and following implementation. A survey based on these components will also be sent to Hospital A staff involved in patient searches/registrations to allow for a more comprehensive insight.
Not only has the introduction of the ieMR resulted in increased numbers of duplicate records, the time needed to merge these duplicates has also increased significantly. Data Maintenance Officers are now required to take screenshots at each step of the process, evaluate information in multiple systems during duplicate investigation, add alerts, and review downstream systems post-merge. Additionally, and most importantly, the risk to patients is higher as a result of this issue. When information is unknowingly stored in multiple records this can cause confusion between patients/carers and clinicians, and most hazardously, results in a patient’s medical history going unseen.
By researching the impact of the ieMR on the rate of duplicate record creation, I hope to find potential solutions that will minimise patient risk and reduce cost to the Health Service. Findings will be presented to HIMAA on completion and I hope they may benefit other ieMR sites.
Journey of a Health Information Manager
Research Team: Eleni Gilden, Tony Kalathil Jose, Wasanthi Dharmadasa
Health information related professions in Australia highlight two distinct categories, clinical coders, and Health Information Managers (HIMs). However, over the years there has been a shift from traditional roles to new emerging roles where health information professionals are using their skills and knowledge to work in the areas of e-Health, data and quality and digital health to name a few. Our research team observed that health information professionals were taking up new roles in these areas which led us to ask: “How did they get into this current role? What pathway did they take?”
We wanted to investigate this finding further through our data set. Therefore, the aim of our research is to:
- Identify the career pathways a HIM may undertake to reach their current role
- Explore where HIMs receive their training and,
- Determine the highest qualification achieved by HIMs
There are a number of potential benefits that can arise from this research project. Firstly, it can provide information on the current skills and qualifications required to reach certain roles. Secondly, the results can be used by HIMAA to develop training programs and competencies that may be required for its members to achieve their career goals and it can help inform the future workforce needs of HIMs.
The findings of this research will also benefit graduates as it will map out the career pathway one may be required to take in order to work in a particular field and whether any further training or specialised knowledge is needed to work in that role. Additionally, there is the potential for graduates to connect to the right mentor.
To conduct this research, the team applied for a grant through the HIMAA Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Grant Scheme and were successful recipients. The money obtained from the scholarship will support the team in conducting our research by purchasing the necessary software and materials required. We would like to acknowledge and thank the HIMAA RAC for their support in our research through this great initiative. We look forward to sharing our findings
Impacts of EMR technology implementation on hospital Health Information Services and the roles of Health Information Managers
Dr Kerin Robinson (Chief Investigator), La Trobe University (LTU); Merilyn Riley, LTU; Debbie McBain, Eastern Health, Melbourne; Emma Barker, LTU; Kay Bonello, LTU; Sharon Campbell, West Australian Country Health Services; Jenn Lee, LTU; Natasha Prasad, LTU.
The research study
The study rationale
There is a need to address the gap in electronic medical record (EMR)-related research on the impacts of EMR technologies on hospital Health Information Services (HISs) and Health Information Managers (HIMs). The current project will complement published research on the effects of hospital EMRs on the clinical work of doctors, nurses and other (non-HIM) allied health professionals’ work.
Aims and objectives
The aim of this study is to explore EMR technologies in Victorian public hospitals’ HIS environments. The objectives are:
- To ascertain the status of EMR implementation in Victorian public hospitals
- To investigate structural and functional changes in ‘traditional’ hospital HISs, post-EMR implementation
- To explore the impacts of the EMR on the staff and systems management roles of the HIMs.
The research will utilise an Explanatory Design: Participant Selection Model involving a two-stage approach and sequential timing. Stage 1 will involve quantitative data collection via an online survey administered to senior HIMs in public hospitals that meet pre-determined eligibility criteria. The study design will enable potential participants in Stage 2, i.e. the qualitative component, to be identified from the responses provided in the Stage 1 survey. The Stage 2 data collection will involve a face-to-face, semi-structured, in-depth interview.
The research project has received approval from the La Trobe University Human Research Ethics Committee.
Potential significance of the project
The study will provide evidence-based data on how hospital HISs are affected by, and are adapting to, new technologies within the contexts of HIS functions and HIM roles. The results can be utilised by the many hospitals and hospital districts and networks around Australia that have not yet implemented full EMRs. The results will inform their anticipation of, and planning for, potential changes based upon the experiences of peer-HIMs and peer-organisations.
It is expected that the findings will also inform the Health Information Management Association of Australia’s HIM professional competency standards at all three levels: Profession-Entry; Intermediate; and Advanced. The Profession-Entry competency standards are mandatory for accreditation of universities’ accredited, professional degree programs in health information management; therefore, it is anticipated that the findings will inform curriculum updates to better equip and prepare entry-level HIMs for more highly technologised workplaces. Furthermore, when applied to the Intermediate and Advanced competency standards, the findings will inform professional development of the wider health information management profession and, thusly, guide the updating of practising HIMs’ skills and knowledge.
Summary of expected benefits
The findings from this study will contribute to the health information management professional knowledgebase and help to address the paucity of local literature on contemporary practice and the effects of cutting-edge EMR technologies.
The HIMAA Research Advisory Committee Mentoring Initiative
The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is focused on promoting a more inclusive and extensive research culture throughout the profession. This involves raising the levels of research awareness, support and capacity across the membership.
The RAC’s overarching aim is to build a more substantive, evidence‐supported knowledgebase to underpin all domains of the profession’s practice. This can only be achieved through properly designed and conducted research, the results of which are disseminated to the whole profession and the world at‐large via publications in journals such as the HIMAA‐owned, peer‐reviewed Health Information Management Journal, peer‐reviewed conference papers and, for some research reports, the editor‐reviewed HIM‐Interchange.
- Provides learning opportunities for HIMAA members on the basics of how to undertake research;
- Helps HIMAA members to identify potential research topics in their work environments;
- Mentors HIMAA members in targeted health information management research projects;
- Identifies priority areas in health information management research;
- Administers the HIMAA‐funded Research Grants program of small grants to support appropriate projects (See below for more information); and
- Contributes to the implementation of HIMAA’s strategic plan as it relates to research.
Drawn from the HIMAA membership, the RAC comprises a mix of Health Information Managers (HIMs), Clinical Coders (CCs), IT specialists, and health research professionals. RAC members have an interest in and/or are involved in research and are committed to fostering health information management research as a priority for all members of HIMAA.
To see some of the exciting research projects underway please visit the RAC page under Grant Outcome.