A lot of my role is assisting clients in ensuring that their privacy rights are respected and their personal health information is protected. I also support staff members in processing releases of information that can be quite complicated. We are all working together to ensure our clients are getting the care they need.
The ability to work with people who care about what they do. It makes a world of difference knowing you are surrounded by people who are kind, hardworking, and have a great sense of humour. At the end of the day, we are here to try to support people in the community and that in of itself is what makes it worth it.
#1. What is involved in your role?
As Health Information Management Specialists we are involved in various areas of the organization such as:
E-Health: Assistance with Caseworks Help Desk, Portal Partner Governance Support, assistance with development of E-Forms
Health Information Resource: HIM Theory/Strategy, Documentation Best Practice, Dictation Support, Coding + Management Information Systems guidance, Data Quality,
Specialty Release of Information: Quality of Care and Complaints Support, processing any complex or third party release of information requests (for example, lawyers, subpoenas, coroner requests, and individual requests for their own file)
Privacy: Assisting with policy & procedures, assisting with privacy audits, Integrated Assessment Record Local Registered Authority, Clinical Connect LRA Local Registered Authority, Ontario Telemedicine Network Coordination, and training and development with the electronic client record, documentation, and orienting and supporting staff to our privacy/HIM procedures and policies
#2. Why did you become involved in Health Information Management?
Alicia: Prior to coming to CMHA WW I didn’t know much about this career path. Luckily, CMHA WW is on the leading edge in many areas, including HIM and I was introduced to this area, which is a growing need in the healthcare field. I consider this career somewhat of the backbone of healthcare, which helps support organizations and programs in facilitating their services. The work happens mostly behind the scenes in most cases, but helps support the direct services in delivering the best care to people in the community.
Rebecca: It provided me with an opportunity to become educated and specialize in an area that I had already been working in. With the switch from paper files to the electronic record, I was interested in the implications on Privacy.
#3. Have you always worked in mental health?
Alicia: In 2003, I worked in a Family Physician’s office and after hours clinic which housed 13 physicians in 2003 to pay my way through school. I did not expect to love that job as much as I did, but it was an enjoyable place to have established some roots. I graduated in 2006 from a Child and Youth Worker program; I worked in that field for a few years with experience in various different settings. I also had a job with. In 2007, I was able to marry my passion for mental health and aspects of what I enjoyed about my previous place of employment, here at CMHA WW. I was able to combine the role of Health Information Specialist role, and here, I have I found myself comfortable and at home.
Rebecca: Originally, I was studying History in University with the hope of pursuing law. It wasn’t until my third year that I added psychology as a second Major. After I graduated, I volunteered at a distress line, and then worked as an administrative assistant at a Psychology office. My parents both work in mental health so I grew up around it.
#4. How do you support people at CMHA WW?
Alicia: We support people directly by assisting them with their personal health information file release requests and privacy related concerns. Indirectly, we support in the various ways mentioned above.
Rebecca: A lot of my role is assisting clients in ensuring that their privacy rights are respected and their personal health information is protected. I also support staff members in processing releases of information that can be quite complicated. At the end of the day, we are all working together to ensure our clients are getting the care they need.
#5. What do you enjoy about working at CMHA?
Alicia: The people and my co-workers. The ability to work with people who care about what they do. It makes a world of difference knowing you are surrounded by people who are kind, hardworking, and have a great sense of humour. At the end of the day, we are here to try to support people in the community and that in of itself is what makes it worth it.
Rebecca: It is a great learning experience for me as the role is quite vast. In addition, I really enjoy working with and learning from my team members.
#6. What are you particularly proud of during your time at CMHA?
Alicia: In 2012 I was fortunate enough to participate in two secondments during my time here at CMHA WW. One in particular that stands out in my mind, was with St. Joseph’s Health Centre. The initiative was to support the implementation of the Regional Community Responsive Behaviour Team and Specialized Geriatric Services Clinical Intake Team. My role there was to ensure privacy and records management policies, procedures and practices were met and all legislative requirements conformed to meet current best practice standards, and also facilitating the implementation and training of caseWORKS. It was a great experience participating in the partnership and being a liaison between CMHA WW and St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
Rebecca: I am proud to be a part of a team that is continuing to grow within CMHA. I have been here a relatively short amount of time and I feel that I have already learned so much. I am excited about what the future brings.
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