A new census tool for gathering health information workforce data developed by the University of Tasmania and the University of Melbourne has given people a clearer picture of what this specialised workforce looks like.
A report released this week shows key findings from the first Australian Health Information Workforce Census, held in May this year. The census involved 1,597 participants and paints a picture of a mainly female workforce, aged over 40, which predominately holds tertiary qualifications in health information.
Respondents have worked in their current position in the industry on an average of seven years, and over 50 per cent intend to leave within the next 15 years.
University of Tasmania’s Dr Kerryn Butler-Henderson said the census, which was the result of a three-year research project, would be an important asset for understanding a highly utilised but often forgotten part of the health workforce.
“The health system is increasingly reliant on the health information workforce to extract value from increasing volumes of electronic health data and to realise a range of safety, quality and sustainability benefits from large investments in digital health,” she said.
“The census instrument and processes have been developed through rigorous and consultative methods and is a landmark in advancing our understanding of this often‐overlooked section of the health workforce.”
The census will run regularly in Australia and will extend to other countries in coming years.
Detailed analysis of the data is now being carried out by the principal investigators, and raw data is available for analysis.
The Health Information Workforce Census project is a collaboration between Dr Kerryn Butler-Henderson (Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania) and Associate Professor Kathleen Gray (University of Melbourne) and industry partners Australian Digital Health Agency, Australian Library and Information Association Health Libraries Australia, Australasian College of Health Informatics, Health Informatics Society of Australia, Health Information Management Association of Australia, and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
To access the census report or request data access visit: https://www.utas.edu.au/business-and-economics/hiwcensus