May 14, 2021

National Health Information Management Awareness Week

This week is National Health Information Management Awareness Week. Health Information is at the heart of the healthcare system and is maintained by Health Information Managers (HIMs).

Terri Fiorenza, Director Health Information Services, explained HIM’s professional responsibilities cover the collection, storage, analysis and distribution of healthcare information.

“HIMs contribute both to the healthcare system and to people’s health by providing the information systems and data central for medical decision making and patient care planning. HIMs coordinate many kinds of healthcare information, from a variety of sources. At Northern Health, HIMs work across the following departments: Health Information Services, Decision Support Unit, Legal Counsel, Information Technology, Mental Health and Electronic Medical Record project,” she said.

It’s been a busy year for our Health Information Services (HIS). In the last 12 months, they have been responsible for securing submission of the eDishcharge Summary to patient’s My Health Record, implementing the Department of Health Unique Patient Identifier statewide system in identifying and managing patient duplicate healthcare records and establishing a data linkage with births, deaths and marriages in upgrading Northern Health Patient Administration System with deceased information of patients.

The team has upgraded Clinical Patient Folder (CPF) to include the CPF Referrals Manager for referral management with Specialist Clinic Outpatients and CPF scanning hardware and software fleet has been upgraded to ensure Windows 10 compliance.

The Northern Health Communications team has transitioned to the HIS program and a Hospital Reception Manager position to oversee Communications/Hospital Receptions across the health service has been created. The remaining Northern Health Ward Clerk Workforce has transitioned to the HIS Program, with the creation of a HIS Program Allocations team to manage vacancies across the HIS Program and Communications and Ward Clerk resources have been supplied for the Main Ward Block.

In addition, there were notable projects such as the development of the new Cancer Registry Board.

“The Cancer Services division identified that Northern Health did not have a method to capture all cancer patients presenting to our health services. The task was presented to Decision Support and HIS to develop a tool to identify and monitor all cancer related patients that are treated at Northern Health,” said Nga Dang, from Decision Support.

As cancer patients can touch on various points throughout the organisation, Nga analysed a number of internal systems such as iPM, CHARM, HMS and CANMAP, and built a methodology to isolate those patients that had been flagged with cancer whilst categorising them into an appropriate tumour stream.

“The end result is a Cancer Registry dashboard, which is accessible through the reporting portal, and allows users to track volumes of patients, first treatments, tumour streams and cancer diagnosis. The dashboard will evolve in the future to include key KPI’s to support the monitoring and auditing of cancer care clinical indicators,” she explained.

Maria Tucker, Divisional Director Nursing, Cancer Services and Specialist Clinics, was highly appreciative of the end result and said, “clinical indicators are best practice quality indicators that span patient access, assessment, treatment and outcomes related to their cancer care, and provide Northern Health with an objective measure of performance on areas for improvement or exemplary performance.”

Featured image: HIS staff