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Inaugural Message from the Chairman

At the recommendation of the Board of Directors of Japan Society of Health Information Management, I have been appointed to succeed Honorary Chairman Toshio Oi as Chairman of Japan Society of Health Information Management, an appointment that entails heavy responsibilities. As one of many to have witnessed Dr. Oi extend his services in leading Japan Society of Health Information Management over many years with remarkable insight and capability for execution, it fills me with much consternation as I take on this responsibility as Chairman.

In recent years, health information managers are required in ever expanding fields of operation. There are now more than 30,000 certified health information managers in Japan, and the Annual Meetings of Japan Society of Health Information Management have continued to grow with substantial enrichment of the meeting programs. I am acutely aware of my responsibility in further building on this momentum and steering the Society in the right direction.

Of all that I heard from Dr. Oi, one thing has particularly stuck in my mind. It concerns not only electronic health records (EHR), but also the entire field of ICT. It is known in Canada as the DRIP Syndrome, or data rich, information poor syndrome, to describe abundance of useless data that cannot be put to good use. Even though we have a large store of accumulating EHR data, we have little quality information that we can use to bring about meaningful innovation and reform. It is something we should all continuously remind ourselves in our use of ICT.

If used well, EHR data can be transformed into big data that can be instrumental in the discovery of new solutions to existing problems. Health information managers have a role of ascertaining the correctness of the data as well as selecting the data that are more important than others. Working with the ICT department, they also have a role of analyzing the data and based on that analysis, recommending reforms related to quality of care and hospital management to the senior management. The use of big data in the policy decision-making in government is also premised on data accuracy.

At the 41st Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Health Information Management, Honorary Chairman Toshio Oi identified the challenges that we need to address as we plot a path for the future, in his presentation titled, “Looking Back over the Last 10 Years,” as follows:

・Are we converting information into meaningful knowledge and wisdom? ・Are we contributing to elevating the quality of care? ・Are we enhancing the usefulness of information in ways that benefit patients? ・Have we plotted the future course of Japan Society of Health Information Management? ・Do we have the collective wisdom and will of our members in progressing along the future course of the Society?

Overcoming the above challenges of Japan Society of Health Information Management as indicated by Honorary Chairman Oi, including finding ways to avoid falling into the DRIP Syndrome, and building on the education and training programs to further enhance the skills of health information managers will be our immediate core themes.

Together with the directors on the new board, we intend to maintain good communication in the management of the Society. At the same time, we are dependent on the cooperation of our members in the management of the Society. If you notice anything we should be made aware of, please let us hear your views any time. In conclusion, I would like to ask for your further support and cooperation.

Hiroyuki Suenaga
Japan Society of Health Information Management

Japan Society of Health Information Management
9-15 Hospital Plaza Building, Sanbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8414, Japan <<Access Map>>
Phone: +81-3-5215-1044 Fax: +81-3-5215-1045 e-mail:info@jhim.jp