Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are groups of HIMAA members that share a common interest in a particular topic associated with one of the many roles of the health information professionals. These SIGs can be state or national and tend to meet quarterly or yearly. Meetings provide a platform for shared learning and enable lasting networks to be developed between professionals.

Typically the SIGs are led by an interested HIMAA member and can be joined by any HIMAA member, including student members. Below are the SIGs that are currently active – if you are interested in joining in please contact the convenor for further information.

If you are a HIMAA member that has an idea for a SIG or would like to create or convene a new SIG, please Contact HIMAA to discuss how HIMAA can help.

The Clinical Documentation Improvement SIG is a forum for people working or interested in the Clinical Documentation Improvement space to discuss issues of common interest, share information and promote best practice as it relates to clinical documentation improvement and concurrent documentation reviews (CDI/CDR).

Given the diverse skillsets and experience of people working as Clinical Documentation Specialists (CDS) or planning CDI/CDR programs, membership of the SIG is open to people from the public and private sectors. This includes those working as Health Information Managers, Clinical Coders, Nurses, Allied Health Practitioners, or in other health information or documentation related roles. Current health discipline students are also welcome to participate.

The CDI SIG supports the work of health information professionals by bringing knowledge of health information processes, condition documentation requirements, healthcare funding models, clinical coding, and data transformation to inform clinical documentation improvement initiatives and support clinical documentation specialists to improve patient care, clinical communication and funding outcomes.

Convenor: Melissa Clowes

Convenor: Joanne Moss

Janine Wapper

Convenor: Janine Wapper

The Rural and Remote Health Information Management (HIM) Special Interest Group commenced a number of years ago with the goal of providing support to rural and remote Health Information Managers. As noted by former Chair of the group Sharon Campbell: “There is a special pressure that comes with being the only qualified HIM on site or in the region”. The pressure is amplified if your health region or service is spread over thousands of square kilometres and your hospitals are hundreds of kilometres apart. It makes accessing professional development opportunities, exposure to specialist practice and peer support challenging.

To this end the Rural and Remote HIM SIG endeavours to provide peer support and development opportunities to its members through Videoconference meetings throughout the year, where guest presenters speak on topics of interest such as:

  • Electronic health record management
  • Scanning of health records
  • Coder workforce continuing education
  • Recruitment of qualified staff in rural areas (and the need to “grow your own”)
  • The challenge of maintaining privacy in small communities

In 2020 the Rural and Remote HIM Special Interest Group has a new Chair Janine Wapper, who will continue to conduct Videoconference meetings and work on production of a SIG webpage for the HIMAA website. The group’s profile will also be raised through regular articles in the HIM-Interchange.

Amy Fraser

Convenor: Amy Fraser

The Private Health Insurance Special Interest Group (PHI SIG) provides a forum for discussion on a broad range of Health Information areas that are dealt with by Health Information Managers (HIMs) and Clinical Coders (CCs) within Private Health Insurance (PHI). As a specialised Health Information profession, HIMs working in PHI encounter many unique situations and use their knowledge in many ways. This group is a space where HIMs and CCs can discuss matters, receive support and gain clarification in relation to the specialised areas they encounter within their roles. These areas include clinical coding, diagnosis related groups assignment and case-mix, Medicare rules and MBS item numbers, prosthesis items, ICU, CCU and SCN criteria, data integrity and analysis, private health insurance legislation and admission criteria.

A HIM or CC in PHI use their specialised knowledge in diverse ways. The clinical coding submitted by the hospital tells the story of the private health insurance claim and is thus used to apply contractual rules, legislation, fund rules, product coverage and appropriate payment to the hospital admission. As the holders of this knowledge, HIMs are invaluable to a private health insurance fund. Our group unites these HIMs to discuss common issues.

As our members are nationally based, the PHI SIG meets quarterly, via teleconference.

Sharon Campbell

Convenor: Sharon Campbell

The current health environment is growing exponentially in digital health, increasing the level and availability of health information to a greater number of areas and people. HIM professionals are tasked with challenges in maintaining privacy and confidentiality within this environment, which has increased in complexity due to Cyber security issues and rapid changes in legislation.  This working group is tasked with making sense of this changing environment for HIMs, providing advocacy for our profession in times of pressure and highlighting changes within legislation and policy.

Convenor: Janine McDonald

Convenor: TBC

The Victorian Senior Health Information Management Group is a structured forum under the  Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) umbrella.  In addition to providing support and guidance on industry trends the Victorian SHIM group discusses issues of common interest, to shares information and to promotes best practice that relate to existing and emerging responsibilities of senior health information leadership and management.  This group provides

  • an opportunity for networking and enhancing knowledge through targeted professional development
  • advice and support on linkages between Health Services and the Department of Health
  • assistance to Health Information Managers and their teams to operate efficient and effective health information services
  • share information relating to Department of Health statutory extracts and audits conducted
  • supports industry cohesion through liaising and sharing information with other relevant HIMAA Special Interest Groups, Standards Australia and HIMAA
  • a platform to contribute to relevant HIMAA State and National dialogue and strategy development