Special International Issue Introduction

by Lorraine Nicholson, FHRIM; and Candace J. Gibson, PhD, CHIM

This special international edition of Perspectives in Health Information Management features examples of health information management practice from around the world with expert authors sharing their knowledge and experience of the development and implementation of HIM workforce transformation strategies, better practices for accurate patient identification in the age of the “global patient” and the deployment of HIM expertise or “professional presence” in different dimensions of practice in three different geographic locations.

Healthcare delivery around the world is undergoing major change driven by the need to deliver safe and effective care at reduced cost by improving the utilization of limited healthcare resources. The implementation and management of electronic health records, the associated transition from paper-based to electronic health records and the demands of the digital workplace are posing significant challenges for HIM practitioners in terms of the new skills and training required. Authors describe how these challenges are being addressed in Australia and Canada and the important roles played by their respective national HIM associations.

The “global patient” is now a reality and patient identification and patient matching have long been a challenge in countries around the globe. An overview of some specific patient identification strategies, along with their challenges and considerations, is provided by authors in five different countries (Australia, Canada, Singapore, the United States, and Wales) together with examples of better/best practice in addressing governance issues related to the healthcare transformation process, the use of technology and the early engagement of consumers.

“Professional presence” can be described as the ability to lead, direct, make decisions, and promote excellence for a profession. Authors share their experiences of how the deployment of HIM expertise in three different healthcare settings and dimensions of professional practice can make significant contributions to the improvement of health, reduction in child mortality, and improve the delivery of care in different locations and care settings, specifically in the determination of the impact of technology on primary healthcare information management in north India, the challenges of post-earthquake health information management in Japan, and the design of a new immunization record for Nigerian families to help increase the uptake of immunization across all geopolitical zones and to reduce child mortality by way of a linked electronic heath record system.

 

Lorraine Nicholson, FHRIM, is the Past President of the International Federation of Health Information Management Associations (IFHIMA) and Membership Chair of IFHIMA in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.

Candace J. Gibson, PhD, CHIM, is the Assistant Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

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