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Boot camp to develop CHIA for NZ

A boot camp to develop New Zealand content and questions for the Certified Health Informatician Australasia certification, is being held this month.

Health Informatics New Zealand is working on a proposal to deliver CHIA in New Zealand in partnership with the Health Informatics Society of Australia.

CHIA was designed to address the lack of formal recognition for health informatics skills in the health workforce and has been operating in Australia for over three years.

Candidates apply to sit the CHIA exam and one registered they have 90 days to prepare for an online exam with 104 multi-choice questions.

If they pass, they become certified and can use the CHIA postnominals showing they meet the health informatics core competencies.

HiNZ board chair Rebecca Grainger says there is a real appetite within the sector for something like CHIA in New Zealand.

Grainger is attending the bootcamp later this month to develop local questions and content and says HiNZ is continuing to work with the Australian organisations (HISA, ACHI and HIMAA) on how to manage the delivery of CHIA in New Zealand.

While there is lots of informal learning in health informatics within providers, communities of interest and HiNZ events, there is currently no way to have that learning, along with experiential learning in the workplace, recognised.

“That’s where CHIA sits,” says Grainger, who has also completed the certification.

“It’s recognition of prior learning and that you have met a certain standard of knowledge.”

HiNZ members and people with an interest in digital health in NZ were surveyed regarding the proposal to develop a CHIA certification for New Zealand.

Chair of the CHIA New Zealand working group Michael Hosking says more than 400 people responded to the survey and there was strong support for NZ and HiNZ to adopt the CHIA certification.

A localised version of the CHIA will include more relevant localised concepts and ideas related to New Zealand health policy, funding and structures, as well as Maori health issues.

Hosking, who has completed CHIA himself, says the current version has 65 Australia-specific questions out of more than 300 in total and he would like to see a similar number created for New Zealand.

The plans is for candidates to be able to choose from three options; CHIA containing both Australian and New Zealand content as well as existing internationally content; CHIA containing Australian and international content; or CHIA containing New Zealand and international content.

As of 2018, eight people in New Zealand had completed CHIA in its current form.

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