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Shining a spotlight on the scope of Health Information Management

With Health Information Management Awareness Week kicking off this week we thought it would be a timely opportunity to introduce patients and staff to our resident Regional Health Information Manager, Carolyn Madigan.

Health Information Management is a lot more than data or storing clinical care information, it actually contributes to and supports a whole range of functions within our Hospital.

From interpreting the current and future case-mix of patients, to privacy, release of information, best practice standards and quality control, clinical documentation and medical records, Health Information Management exists at the heart of the health care system.

This week, the Health Information Management Association Australia are raising awareness around all the roles that Health Information Management teams support and fulfil and who better to provide further insight than our own Regional Health Information Manager, Carolyn Madigan.

What are your qualifications?

Bachelor of Science (Health Information Management) and Master of Science (Clinical Data Management)

Where did you grow up/live?

I grew up all over the world, but primarily had a base in Brisbane.

What led to you living on NSW Central Coast?

The ocean and relaxed lifestyle

When did you join Healthe Care?

Feb 2021

What made you get into the Health Information Management field?

I was offered a traineeship in Medical Records as a teenager and instantly knew that this was the place I was meant to be.

Why did you choose this profession?

It has enough clinical content combined with improvement of processes, I have a love of both, I enjoy analysing and identifying areas for improvement.

What do you enjoy the most about this role?

It is a privilege to be an integral part of ensuring that medical records of patients are kept safe and accessible. It is also incredibly fulfilling to play an important role in the Australian healthcare system, by ensuring the accuracy of the data so it can be used to inform sound health decisions.

What would you share with someone considering following this career?

If you like reading, analysis, order and rules but want every day to be something different then Health Information Management (HIM) is the job for you

What would you consider to your best advice to staff when it comes to their role in supporting the HIM team?

Its vital that every staff member documenting in a medical record does so legibly and that the information is complete with causality noted where appropriate e.g. Slow K commenced on medication chart but no reason documented on the medication chart or in the patient notes AND that we receive the collated record as soon as possible after discharge.

In your view why is HIM important?

Without the management of the Health Information there would be no statistics to inform decisions locally or nationally, there would be no revenue to fund salaries or projects locally and there would be less accessibility to medical records for the purposes of continuation of care or for legal or personal reasons.

What would someone not know about you?

I am a die-hard Survivor and Amazing Race fan

What is something that someone would not know about the role that HIM team provide?

The clinical coding that is performed on every discharged patient has multiple purposes. Our coded data is collated with the rest of the same type of data around the country which helps to inform the national health budget and health priorities for all Australians

What does 2021 hold for you and HIM team?

Organising the physical location of medical records so they are accessible and consistently meet the coding targets set by the organisation

If you could ask staff to remember one thing about HIM, what would it be?

Once the patient is discharged it is not the end of the story, that simply opens the door to further analysis of the encounter and the secure custodianship of data begins.

To learn more about Health Information Management and HIM Awareness week please visit–HIM Awareness Week – HIMAA