Information Management refers to collection, storage, retrieval, communication and optimal use data, information and knowledge. Information management systems are localised to the organisation that you work in. It is recommended that you spend time with your manager discussing systems, policies, procedures and guidelines relevant to your place of work. This may include:
Patient Records: Documentation in client records forms an essential part of health professional activities. A high standard of patient record documentation is important to meet legislative and professional requirements, and to facilitate communication between health staff. Documentation of patient records is guided by standards and principles of good practice. Your organisation will most likely have guidelines for how to document, record and store medical records.
Patient Management Systems: Patient and client management systems are used to support all functions associated with the administration and management of patients and clients. These systems can include the ability to electronically record and access patient records, make referrals, access results, or manage your caseload.
Patient Statistical Data Collection: Typically, most health services and organisations have systems in place to collect information on the services you provide. This may include information on the types of patients you see, how often you see them, how long you see them for, and where you see them (to name a few). Data collection may be either paper based or electronic.
Document Management: Document management is the process of managing documents and other information. It involves the indexing, storage and retrieval of documents in an organised method. Some organisations have formal document management systems, whilst for others it can simply refer to how you organise electronic and hard copy documents in your department.
Library Services: Many organisations offer library services that provide you access to books, journals and other reference material. Increasingly these library services are becoming electronic (i.e. online).
Intranet: An Intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet technologies to securely share organisational information or systems with its staff. Intranets are often a ‘one stop shop’ for information specific to the orgnaisation, including forms and templates, directories, key documents, policies and procedures to name a few.
Telecommunications: Telecommunications include technologies such as the telephone, fax, computer, Internet and Telehealth. The computer can be an important tool for all remote and rural allied health professionals. It may include access to the Internet or your local Intranet, email, electronic record systems or applications such as Microsoft Word or Publisher.
Information Management & You
- What IT systems and software is available in your organisation?
- How is data stored in your organisation?
- Does your organisation have patient record management policies and procedures?
- Does your organisation have an intranet?
- What library services do you have access to?
- Does your organisation have a statistical data collection system or requirements?
- How competent are your computer skills? Do you need to develop your skills in any particular program?