A large part of the health information professional's role is to process release of information (ROI) requests. Photo: Christina Weese.

Health information professionals (HIPs) in the VMC

Health information professionals (HIPs) play an integral role in the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's organization.

By Dionne Fox

HIPs possess a diploma in Health Information Management with a professional designation of CHIM (Certified Health Information Management), after successfully writing the national exam.

At the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC), health information professionals oversee patient health record management, ensure confidentiality and privacy of patients and clients, and manage the storage and retrieval of electronic and paper information.

A large part of health information professional's job is to release patient information (ROI) upon the request of clients, referring veterinarians and various agencies. We process approximately 100 ROIs per week at the VMC!

The VMC centralizes the ROI function to one particular area — the Health Information Department — where HIP staff will:

  • Ensure that hospital policy and consistent procedures are followed. These actions protect the hospital from liability.
  • Ensure that ROI requests are documented in a log that allows everyone to view what information has been sent.
  • Protect the privacy of our client/animal information.
  • Health information management (HIM) professionals possess the knowledge and training to make judgment calls about the authenticity of the ROI requests. HIPs review requested information to ensure it is finalized and appropriate for release, and that the person requesting the information has a legal right to that information.

Click here to read a story about Lisa Paul, one of our VMC health information professionals.