Workforce survey of Australian graduate health information managers: Employability, employment, and knowledge and skills used in the workplace Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Employability, employment destinations and utilisation of knowledge-skill domains of new graduate health information managers (HIMs) have not been explored. OBJECTIVES:To capture the timing from course completion to employment and employment locations of a 5-year cohort of health information management graduates of La Trobe University, Australia, in 2017-2018; identify professional knowledge and skills used by the graduates in executing their roles; and map these to four domains of the health information management curriculum. METHOD:A mixed-methods descriptive study utilising a survey investigated early career pathways of new graduates of health information management courses from 2012 to 2016. Demographic data included age, year of graduation, lead time from course completion to employment, position title, number of positions held post-graduation and knowledge-skills used in the workplace. RESULTS:Eighty percent ( n = 167) of graduates working in Australia with known contact details responded to the survey. Of these, 96.4% ( n = 161) worked in at least one "health information management-related" position since graduation. Forty-five percent ( n = 72) of graduates obtained a position before course completion, and over 94% ( n = 150) were employed in the profession within 6 months of completion. Sixty percent ( n = 97) of graduates had worked in two or more positions from 2012 to 2016. The large majority of new graduate HIMs (82.4%) were employed in the public healthcare sector in "health information management" (44%), or "health classification" (28.1%) roles. Most graduates (61%) had utilised at least three or four domains of professional knowledge-skills in the workplace. Whereas 16% ( n = 26) of graduates used, solely, their health classification knowledge-skill set, almost 74% ( n = 117) undertook some health classification-related activities. Only 16% ( n = 26) of graduates were over 40 years of age, and there were no statistically significant differences between Bachelor and Master (Combined Degree Programs) graduates and Graduate-entry Master degree graduates in terms of lead time to employment, number of positions held, type of employing agency and professional knowledge-skills utilised in the workplace. CONCLUSION:Graduate HIMs have very high employability, demonstrate job mobility consistent with the national trends, are largely represented in the public sector but have presence throughout the healthcare system and utilise most or all of the specialised domains of professional knowledge and skills studied at university.

publication date

  • 2019