The Health Information Management Association Australia (HIMAA) Annual National Conference was held in Adelaide, South Australia from 26-28 October 2022. The theme for the conference was “Health Information Management: keeping health information human”, which was especially relevant following the impacts of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector in Australia, in particular on modalities of service. This was touched on during the conference opening session by the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing, the Honourable Christopher Picton, followed by the welcome address by the outgoing HIMAA President Cheens Lee.

Brigadier Isaac Seidl concluded the opening plenary sharing his experiences of how health information has informed improvements in the defense force health care services. The conference sessions covered a wide range of health information related topics. There were presentations from the tertiary education sector discussing the effects of remote learning and placements on HIM students; the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the monitoring of reported deaths, training opportunities for coders, and health service provision were all highlighted. Speakers also discussed the future of the healthcare sector, emphasising the need for change due to forecasted population needs and clinician shortages. Opportunities ICD-11 poses in improving clinical information capture across a variety of use cases was also discussed. Clinical updates were provided on haematology, burns, endocrinology, mental health, and cardiology. A special highlight was the motivational session on Laughter Yoga with Merv Neal. Fantastic workshops this year encouraged engaging in research, the role of information management in digital projects, coding auditing, practical use of ICD-11 and the potential introduction of cluster coding in ICD-10-AM.

Networking opportunities were aplenty with the Prohibition Gin cruise, Welcome Reception and Conference Dinner events. Plenty of dancing, posing for photos (in and out of the photo booth) and good conversation were had, as well as new connections made. On the final day of the conference, presentations were themed around governance of health information management as well as general HIM topics, clinical document integrity and improvement, and coding and classification. In the closing session, an address from the President Elect of IFHIMA Vicki Bennett invited attendees to the 40th HIMAA Annual National Conference in 2023 which will be held in conjunction with the 20th IFHIMA Congress, in Brisbane, Australia from 29 October to 1 November. The IFHIMA Congress will showcase innovations from presenters from Australia and internationally with the theme ‘Advancing global health: in pursuit of high-quality digital information’. We look forward to seeing you there!


Authors: Georgia Savvopoulos, Breanna Harnetty, Brooke Macpherson, Filippa Pretty