Updates from CHIMA’s community facilitators

Updates from CHIMA’s community facilitators

CHIMA Terminology Standards Community

Facilitator: Kelly Davison

The CHIMA Terminology Standards Community is growing exponentially! As the designation gains broader awareness and traction with industry stakeholders, new and interesting discussions are starting to take shape: What is the role of clinical use cases in HIM? What should clinicians know about terminology standards and messaging standards? What should certified terminology standards specialists (CTSS) and health information professionals know about clinical work and documentation? There is so much changing happening right now—sex and gender, race and racialized data, the social determinants of health, and terminology and messaging standards bridge the gap between clinical practice and high quality data.

The CHIMA Terminology Standards Community is open to CHIMA members. Email [email protected] for details. 

Directors of Records of Ontario Hospitals (DROH)

Facilitator: Charmaine Shaw

COVID-19 took the centre stage for members of the Directors of Records of Ontario Hospitals (DROH). Many of the changes that were rapidly implemented in response to the pandemic will become the new normal. Office spaces have been modified to ensure that all staff have a minimum of six feet of space between themselves and other staff members. In order to free up space, work from home arrangements have been expedited. Staff who work from home include coders, transcriptionists, some release of information staff, data analysts and some management who oversee a remote workforce. To promote enhanced work from home arrangements for coders, scanning operations have been either expedited or ramped up to enable remote access to digital health records. The advent of staff working from home reignited discussions about productivity and what should be included in contracts for remote employees. To facilitate remote work for release of information specialists, organizations are coming to grips with options for consent for release of information that ensures integrity of the original signature without requiring in-person authorization.

More information is also becoming available on Patient Portals and patients are being encouraged to sign up for Portal access. Some organizations are automatically signing patients up for Portal access, especially where patients’ want to know their COVID-19 test results as soon as possible. Reporting COVID-19 information to Public Health and also to CIHI have been topics of discussion. CIHI and Ontario Health have provided valuable and timely information to assist the group with data capture and addressing patients’ access requests.

While COVID-19 has expedited some initiatives, it has resulted in modification or delays in others. Most organizations cancelled elective cases to free up hospital space in the event of a surge of infections, resulting in decreased workload for coders. This impacted Health Information departments by facilitating work catch up but also resulted in some staff redeployment. Similarly, software and other system updates and implementations were put on the back burner for indeterminate time periods.

To join the DROTH community, please contact Charmaine Shaw and Rosemarie Lourenco: [email protected], [email protected].

Community contribution: Debi Senger has been an HIM leader in Ontario for more than 30 years. Currently, she is the Manager of Health Information Services for Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Debi is perhaps best known for the 17 years during which she served as SickKids – Director of Health Information and Registration Services. To read an interview with her, please click here.

Patient Registration Network of Ontario (PRNO)

Facilitator: Charmaine Shaw

Members of the Patient Registration Network of Ontario (PRNO) were also engrossed with changes enforced by COVID-19. Although work from home arrangements are not possible for many registration-related activities, pre-registration and scheduling are able to be performed remotely. On-site staff have modified spaces (including barriers between staff and patients) but also scheduling of appointments has been revised to minimize the number of patients in an organization. Similarly, some organizations have implemented a protocol whereby the patient calls Registration after arrival and waits in the parking lot until notified to proceed to Registration. Most organizations have cancelled activities formerly performed by Volunteers, including accompanying/assisting patients to appointments, and this has greatly impacted the Registration process.

Increased virtual visits is a primary focus for PRNO members.  Some virtual visits occur without the patients having been registered and in other instances the registration is being performed by non-registration staff. As a result, Registration professionals are spending more time on data quality reviews, ensuring that all virtual visits are being registered accurately. This important activity will have a positive impact on activity volumes, corporate funding and ensuring that appropriate episodes of care are coded.

To join the PRNO community, please contact Charmaine Shaw and Laurie Snedden: [email protected], [email protected].

Community contribution: Ehab Matta is the Manager, Patient Access Services at Michael Garron Hospital/Toronto East Health Network. To read an interview with him, please click here.

CHIMA Francophone Community

Facilitator: Cassondra McCrory

The purpose of the CHIMA Francophone Community (the Community) is to enable CHIMA students, professionals, retirees, affiliates, and community members to convene around health information, primarily in French, across Canada. The community should enable anyone who is interested to: 

  1. Further the health information sector, particularly in francophone settings; 
  2. Connect with health information professionals, in French, across the country. 

All active CHIMA members, regardless of sex, age, ethnic origin, race, religion, abilities, sexuality, or political affiliation, are eligible to become members of the Francophone Community. 

An active community participant is defined as someone who attends scheduled meetings and events and/or is included on the Francophone Community email list. To join, contact [email protected].

CHIMA Information Governance Community

Facilitator: Janna Ball

Information governance is a new community of practice and is currently in the discovery phase, developing the communities terms of reference and membership. Please stay tuned for updates and an invitation to join this community.

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