Media Release - Workforce is key: first Agency work placement awarded

A PhD student specialising in speech recognition for digital health record based documentation has been awarded a paid work placement at the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Toby Hodgson has been offered this placement as part of the four-year Australasian Health Informatics Fellowship Program (AHIFP) run by the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI).


Toby Hodgson

College President Dr Chris Pearce said the program is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in health informatics, as well as address the current demands for experienced and qualified specialists from various disciplines.

“Securing the Australian Digital Health Agency as the first work placement partner represents a significant milestone in the development of the program.

“Our partners are a critical stakeholder in the Fellowship by Training Program. Not only are they supporting the goals of ACHI, they are also taking a vested interest in developing our health informatics expertise and capability in Australasia,” Dr Pearce said.

Agency Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr Monica Trujillo said that today’s announcement reflects a priority identified in Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure to help establish a workforce that is confidently using digital health technologies to deliver health and care.

“We are committed to being involved in this important work force initiative and training program, which is creating training opportunities for future health informatics leaders,” Dr Trujillo said.

Mr Hodgson has joined the Agency as a Digital Health Officer working in the clinical governance division. The hands-on experience at the Agency will help inform his research into the safety and efficiency of using speech recognition technology as an input modality for digital health record documentation.

“With hands-on experience with the Agency I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the national healthcare system and ultimately to help shape the future of Australian healthcare utilising innovative technologies,” Mr Hodgson said.

The fellowship program includes a health informatics research doctoral program, two paid work placements, and supplementary learning. Toby is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, working on his thesis under the supervision of Professor Enrico Coiera.

“Toby has an exciting path ahead of him, and the fellowship program is giving him unique opportunities to work with experienced health professionals in challenging and dynamic environments, as well as having an opportunity to share his own unique insights from his doctoral studies,” Professor Coiera said.

ENDS

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Australasian Health Informatics Fellowship Program (AHIFP)
The Australasian Health Informatics Fellowship Program (AHIFP) was established in 2017 as a training pathway to an ACHI Fellowship. It is the first program of its kind in Australasia. The AHIFP is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the health informatics workforce and to address the current demands for experienced and qualified specialists from various disciplines.

The Fellowship by Training Program is four years full-time in duration. On completion, candidates will hold a PhD academic qualification, have a portfolio of work and established industry contacts, and will be awarded Fellowship by the Australasian College of Health Informatics. Candidates may come from a variety of clinical and technical fields, and will take different career paths following the completion of their fellowship. Candidates must be enrolled in a PhD when they submit their application to join the program. Candidates can apply up to 12 months after submitting their PhD.

Further information on the Fellowship by Training Program:
http://www.achi.org.au/achi-fellowship-program.

About the Australian Digital Health Agency
The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of the My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare professionals to provide informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au

About the Australasian College of Health Informatics ACHI is the professional organisation for Digital Health and e-Health in the Asia-Pacific Region. The credentialed Fellows and Members of the College are national, regional, and international thought leaders, experts, and trusted advisers in Digital Health. ACHI sets standards for professional practice and education in Health Informatics, provides evidence-based guidance to jurisdictions, supports initiatives, facilitates inter-disciplinary collaboration, and mentors the community. Further information: www.achi.org.au/

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