The Canadian College of Health Information Management (the College) and CHIMA, Canada’s Health Information Management Association (together ‘the Organization’), are pleased to share the following updates. CHIMA has recently concluded its annual Health Information Professionals (HIP) Week, where attendees learned of the Organization’s new five-year strategic plan, a new professional designation, and evolved curricular standards.

Evolving curricular standards, launching a new medical coding working group Over the past two years, the College has engaged in rigorous consultations and research to produce the new Health Information Fundamentals Curricular Standards. The new standards have evolved from the Learning Outcomes for Health Information Management (LOHIM). This aligns with the College’s mission to promote lifelong learning, create flexibility within curriculum models, and enable more opportunities for health information (HI) professionals in Canada. During HIP Week, CEO and Registrar Jeff Nesbitt, BA, MBA, ICD.D, explained the reason for these new standards: “This evolved approach allows us to simply be more specific in our terminology and evolve our efforts versus a wholesale change, which isn’t needed. We’ve said that LOHIM has served us well, and it truly has. What we’re doing is simply refining it based on our current frameworks and models.”

To foster discussions on modernizing national coding standards, the College has formed a medical coding working group, which will kick off in December 2022. Bringing visibility to professionals in registration roles The College has also launched a new professional designation— the Health Information-Certified Associate (HICA). This new designation will bring professional and academic credibility and visibility to individuals in registration roles.

While the immediate focus is registration within acute care, this certification applies to roles in primary care and beyond, such as health records clerk, medical office assistant, data entry clerk, administrative support worker, and others. Returning to in-person education days For the first time since the pandemic, CHIMA recently hosted its Manitoba and Nunavut chapter members at an in-person education day.

At this event, Dr. Joss Reimer MD MPH FRCPC shared the importance of health data in distributing vaccines and mitigating vaccine misinformation in Manitoba. Also speaking at the event were the province’s privacy experts, who shared best practices in privacy management and confidentiality. The Organization anticipates more opportunities to elevate the voices of Health Information professionals and advance the significance of their roles in the delivery of care.

Authors: Lola Opatayo