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Faces of Peninsula Health: Q&A with Peter Jackson

Name: Peter Jackson

Job title: Clinical Coding & Casemix Manager

Q: How long have you worked at Peninsula Health?

A: I began working for Peninsula Health in 2002. In 2010 I went to work in rural Victoria, returning to Peninsula Health in 2014. So, altogether about 12 years.

Q: What is your background – how did you end up in your current role?

A: When I first started with Peninsula Health I worked as a casual ward clerk, eventually securing permanent employment in Rosebud Emergency Department. I also worked one day per week in Health Information Services (HIS), locating medical records for coding by the Health Information Manager (HIM). I completed the “Introduction to Clinical Coding” course from HIMAA on the suggestion of the HIM I was working with, and began my Coding career in HIS Frankston Hospital. Later, I completed the Bachelor of Health Information Management through Curtin University while working full-time. I have been in my current role for almost three years.

Q: What does a typical day in your role involve?  

A: My role is to lead the management of the Coding team to achieve coding targets and deadlines within specified timeframes, while driving improvements in coding and documentation quality, and resolving any problems as they arise. I am lucky to have a supportive team of experienced HIMs around me, which makes my job a lot easier. A typical day involves staff management including rostering, responding to queries and meeting with clinicians, project work, meetings with coding staff, and facilitating ongoing education for the coding team.    

Q: What role do coders play in a large metropolitan health service like Peninsula Health?

A: Our HIMs and Clinical Coders play a vital role in recording and reporting diagnoses and procedures for approximately 80,000 admitted episodes every year. The documentation from Peninsula Health’s electronic health record (EMR) is translated into coded data which is used for resource allocation, epidemiological studies, data reporting and monetary reimbursement.

Q: What do like best about your job?

A: I enjoy solving problems. When a system is failing, I get satisfaction from coming up with a new idea to fix the issue. I also enjoy implementing new processes that help to improve the working experience for Coding staff, and help our department to be more efficient while providing a quality service. My role has also given me the opportunity to network externally through membership of groups such as the Victorian Coding Special Interest Group, the Victorian Coding Committee and the Cerner User Group.

Q: What has been one highlight of working at Peninsula Health?

A: Returning to work at Peninsula Health in 2014 after four years away is a definite highlight. Peninsula Health is a fantastic place to work and the HIS staff are a good bunch.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Peninsula Health?

A: There are heaps of great things about working for Peninsula Health. Our coders can benefit from flexible working arrangements including flexible start/finish times and working from home. The Peninsula lifestyle is something I really enjoy given my passion for water sports (see below), and the work-life balance Peninsula Health offers really suits my lifestyle. Despite being a large hospital network, the warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere at Peninsula Health is something that keeps drawing people back.  

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

A: I am a keen stand up paddleboarder (SUPer), and get out on the water whenever I can, be it training for races, downwind paddling, surfing or just having fun. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and two kids at home in Rosebud.

An exciting opportunity exists to join Peter and the Health Information Management Team. We’re looking for a Health Information Manager/Clinical Coder. Find out more about the role and apply online here.