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Aussie Series: Health Tech Workforce

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

A few weeks ago, WTF Health took the show on the road to Australia’s digital health conference, HIC 2019. We captured more than 30 interviews (!) from the conference, which is run by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (hence the HISA Studio branding) and I had the opportunity to chat with most of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s leadership, many administrators from the country’s largest health systems, and a number of health informaticians, clinicians, and patients. I’ll be spotlighting a few of my favorites here in a four-part series to give you a flavor of what’s happening in health innovation ‘Down Under.’ For much more, check out all the videos on the playlist here

This is the final post in our series, and in it I’m sharing four interviews on the theme of the future of the health tech workforce. This was a huge topic of conversation at HIC19 — dominating the discussion more than at any other conference I’ve been to in the US or Europe — and what struck me was all the different ways Aussies are looking at ‘workforce preparedness.’ 

There’s Kerryn Butler-Henderson, Associate Professor for Digital Health at the University of Tasmania, who is leading a Health Information Workforce Census that will take place in 2020. She’ll be “counting” the health data analysts, healthcare informaticians, health information managers, clinical coders and health librarians (more on what that job does in the interview) in not only Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, but also the US, UK, Canada, and Middle East to give us a larger look at the demographics of this part of the industry. A surprising take-away from her previous work in this space? More than 70% of health information workers are over the age of 45, signaling a shortage that could come up pretty quickly if we don’t start doing a better job of recruiting for the field.

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Aussie Series: My Health Record Update

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

A few weeks ago, WTF Health took the show on the road to Australia’s digital health conference, HIC 2019. We captured more than 30 interviews (!) from the conference, which is run by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (hence the HISA Studio branding) and I had the opportunity to chat with most of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s leadership, many administrators from the country’s largest health systems, and a number of health informaticians, clinicians, and patients. I’ll be spotlighting a few of my favorites here in a four-part series to give you a flavor of what’s happening in health innovation ‘Down Under.’ For much more, check out all the videos on the playlist here.  

What trip Down Under would be complete without an update on the Australian government’s My Health Record program? The “opt out” period is over and now 22M Aussies (90% of the population) have electronic records managed by the gov’t. Bottom line: They’ve built it, no one’s really opted out, but no one’s really come yet either…especially on the provider side to populate the record with info.

Here are four different takes on what’s going on and what’s next.

For the ‘general gist’ of what’s happening:

Elizabeth Deveny, Chair of the Australian Digital Health Agency

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