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ACHI and HISA Members and Fellows have voted to unite and form the Australasian Institute of Digital Health to be officially launched on 24 February 2020.

Australasia’s leading organisations for health informatics and digital health were formed 25+ years ago in a different world. Imagine the challenges, the foresight and forward thinking required then to see the potential future of healthcare. As the era of ACHI and HISA draws to an end, we invite Members and Fellows past and present to share their stories on this page.

Message from the ACHI President Angela Ryan

Angela Ryan It’s a new decade and a new era for health informatics in Australasia. As we prepare to launch the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, the Members and Fellows of ACHI can be proud of what we have achieved to advance the field of health informatics since our inception in July 2002.

  • Professional recognition of health informatics.
  • Workforce development and initiatives to foster a new generation.
  • Accreditation for individual health informaticians.
  • Fellowship, a community of practitioners and a concentration of informatics expertise.

As ACHI Fellows, the pinnacle of professional recognition for health informatics, our voices have been instrumental in driving the research agenda to pursue improvements in health outcomes through the use of digital tools and technologies. ACHI Members and Fellows have been highly influential, making a significant impact on the national policy agenda through our advice, advocacy and research. We are also the trailblazers, leading the way in the development of ISO standards for EHRs and OpenEHR; the start of HL7 Australia; IHE; Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and more.

ACHI’s legacy of professionalism, integrity and ethical standards forms a foundation to underpin the fields of health informatics and digital health in Australasia for decades to come. As the last President for the Australasian College of Health Informatics I would like to thank my colleagues, the outgoing Council:

  • Karolyn Kerr, Vice-President
  • Peter Williams, Treasurer
  • Vandana Bettens, Secretary
  • Dr Juanita Fernando, Dr Mike Bainbridge and Dr Inga Hunter, Councillors
  • As well as our committee leaders Corinne Grant, David Bunker, Associate Professor Kathleen Gray, Dr Mark Merolli, Dr Liz Cummings, Associate Professor Kerryn Butler-Henderson, Jeffrey Chen and Dr Brendan Loo Gee.

I would also like to sincerely thank and recognise all of the volunteers before them who served on the Council, for their many years of dedication and passion for health informatics. I would particularly like to acknowledge ACHI’s founding President, Professor Enrico Coiera whose vision started this journey. To the past College Presidents who provided their leadership, energy, time and commitment, your work provided the foundations on which the College was built, and your legacy will continue through the Institute.

  • 2016-18: Associate Professor Chris Pearce
  • 2014-16: Klaus Veil
  • 2013-14: Associate Professor Chris Pearce
  • 2011-13: Peter Williams
  • 2009-11: Klaus Veil
  • 2007-09: Dr Terry Hannan
  • 2005-07: Professor Teng Liaw
  • 2003-05: Professor Evelyn Hovenga
  • 2002-03: Dr Branko Cesnik (†2007)
  • 2001-02: Professor Enrico Coiera (Founding President)

Best wishes
Angela Ryan RN FACHI MACN
ACHI President 2018-2020

Message from the HISA Chair David Hansen

Dr David Hansen On behalf of all HISA board members over the past 25 years I’d like to thank you – HISA members and the wider HISA family – for your contribution to health informatics and digital health in Australia.

HISA has been an integral part of the transformation of Australia’s healthcare system as we progress towards a digital healthcare system. HISA has become Australia’s digital health community. HISA has become the place where we come together to share ideas and learn – at national conferences, state and local events, conference calls about special interests, lunchtime webinars from experts – and a multitude of other places. The common thread across these events is the people who participate in them and their desire to make our healthcare system better for everyone in Australia.

This wouldn’t happen without the many amazing volunteers who contribute in many ways to building this community. While HIC may be where we come together nationally as a digital health community, it is the State events, communities of interest and other committees that ensure the digital health community thrives and impacts on the healthcare system. A special thanks to all of you who have committed your time on HISA committees- as well as to workforce initiatives such as CHIA and Digital Health Executives Network. A special mention to the nursing informatics community who were so integral in the early years of HISA and continue to be a vital part of HISA and the digital health community.

There is of course a special place in heaven for those companies and organisations that sponsor not-for-profits such as HISA – these are true partners in sustaining the digital health community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with these partners in state and federal health agencies, commercial companies large and small and the academic and research community.

HISA has been incredibly fortunate to attract great leadership. I can’t name all HISA Board members or staff – so I will just acknowledge the board chairs who preceded me – Ian Graham, Don Walker, Peter Adkins, Tony Sara, Paul Cohen, Michael Legg, David Rowlands, Katerina Andronis and Tam Shepherd. I also wish to acknowledge our Chief Executives – Joan Edgecumbe, Brendan Lovelock and Louise Schaper who have been so instrumental in turning HISA into the leader it is today.

Taking the step of closing an organisation and forming a new company is probably the most strategic thing a board can recommend or members endorse. Taking this step is testament to the transformative and innovative people that make up the current HISA Board, the ACHI Council, and all of our Fellows and members.

As we embark on this new journey of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, I know that it will be the new place where our digital health community meets to continue our transformative work. The leaders and members of the Institute will be working hard to ensure healthier lives, digitally enabled, for all Australians and I look forward to continuing this journey with you all.

Best wishes
Dr David Hansen, FACHI, CHIA
HISA Chair 2014-2020

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1 Comment

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    Having been active across multiple domains in the health computing and information systems space since 1970 I have been privileged to witness some extraordinary developments, successes and failures, in large and small healthIT companies in the public and private sectors. Establishing the Australian Institute of Digital Health is a major milestone for Australia’s Digital Health Community, marking the culmination of a huge amount of goodwill, energy and commitment over many years by so very many individuals dedicated to using technology to improving the way health services are delivered and health information is communicated and shared between health professionals throughout Australia. Congratulations and best wishes as you power forwards into the future.

The Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) has merged with the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) to form the Australasian Institute of Digital Health on Monday 24 February 2020. This site will no longer be updated and will be preserved for archive. Visit us at the Institute! www.digitalhealth.org.au.