Introduction by Mandy Burns FHRIM, CEO and IFHIMA Director

It has been widely recognised that Health Record and Informatics Professionals play an important role and provide a significant contribution to enhancing the quality and efficiency of healthcare provision throughout the NHS.

The wider remit now undertaken by health records and health informatics professionals therefore has provided an opportunity to reaffirm the provisions of our Code of Conduct.

The IHRIM Code of Conduct concentrates on the issues of the responsibilities of the health records and health informatics professional with regard to integrity, honesty and provision of services consistent with the need for quality health care and treatment. It details the professional standards to be employed by those working within the field and will be reviewed regularly to keep it dynamic, reflecting the needs of the service. Our commitment to this is supported by our affiliation to UKCHIP (UK Council for Health Informatics Professions).

The Code of Conduct will also set out the standards for professional conduct of members of the Institute. These have not been devised to be rigid but rather to provide a framework to assist both employers and employees achieve the highest professional standards in health record and information management.

IHRIM code of conduct

It has been widely recognised that staff working in the field of Health Informatics play an important role in supporting front line healthcare professionals as well as making a significant contribution to enhancing the quality and efficiency of healthcare provision throughout the NHS.

The wider remit of staff working in Health Informatics has provided an opportunity to reaffirm the provisions of our Code of Conduct for IHRIM members.

The IHRIM Code of Conduct concentrates on the responsibilities of its members working as staff in health informatics regarding integrity, honesty, and provision of services consistent with the need for quality health care and treatment. It details the expected professional standards and behaviour by those working within the field and will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains dynamic and reflects the needs of the service. Our commitment to this is supported by our affiliation to the Federation for Health Informatic Professionals (FEDIP).

Expected Standards of behaviour

The Code of Conduct expects that members, in their professional practice, will:

  • Make the care, dignity, and safety of patients their first concern.
  • Comply with the law at all times.
  • Be honest and not misrepresent the facts.
  • Act with integrity, preserving and protecting the viability and confidentiality of the health record, in any medium, and any other confidential information obtained in the course of official duties.
  • Seek to be honest and refuse to conceal or participate in unethical practices or procedures.
  • Respond to complaints in a timely manner upholding the Duty of Candour, apologise when things do not go as planned and follow this up in writing.
  • Seek to give reasonable protection to others against bullying and harassment.
  • Respect patient and staff confidentiality.
  • Make known any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, before offering any judgement on behalf of an employer, client, or the Institute.
  • Uphold and actively promote equality and diversity.
  • Always communicate in a professional, polite, and respectful manner with fellow members, employees, and partners of IHRIM, irrespective of media.
  • Respect the public, patients, relatives, carers, NHS staff and partners in other agencies.
  • Use the resources available to them in their job to provide an efficient and effective service delivered in a timely manner. Having as their priority the best interests of the public, patients, and staff at the centre of everything they do.
  • Highlight the potential risk and consequences of their professional judgement being overruled.
  • Endeavour to complete work on time and to budget, advising the employer or client of any situation likely to cause an overrun or delay.
  • Accept accountability for their own work and the performance of those they manage.
  • Demonstrate their commitment to team working by co-operating with colleagues.
  • Ensure good conduct in the practice of the profession in order to bring respect and dignity to themselves, the health informatics profession, and IHRIM.
  • Improve professional knowledge and competence, through continued self-improvement and application of current advancements in the conduct of health informatics.
  • Abide by the Institute’s Constitution, objectives and rules and loyally support its undertakings.
  • Uphold the reputation of the profession, seeking to improve professional standards through participation in the development and use of those standards, and avoiding any action which would adversely affect the good standing of the profession.
  • Encourage and support others in their professional development and, where possible, provide opportunities for the development of new entrants into the profession.
  • Seek to communicate effectively, using appropriate terminology, and always establish and maintain good working relationships.
  • Through continual self-improvement and application of current advancements in the conduct of health informatics practices, seek to upgrade professional knowledge and skills and increase the profession’s body of systematic knowledge and individual competence.
  • Provide a safe environment for staff and members to speak up and escalate matters of concern.
  • Encourage members to contribute to decision making.

In addition to the above, Senior Managers are expected to abide by the following standards of behaviour:

  • Provide strong leadership to the service for which they are responsible.
  • Uphold the law.
  • Be honest and transparent.
  • Protect against fraud and corruption and report incidents where appropriate.
  • Disclose any conflict of interest that may affect decision making.
  • Protect staff from bullying and harassment and take appropriate action where necessary.
  • Take appropriate action if anyone is unlawfully discriminated against because of their religion, belief, race, colour, gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, age, social and economic status or national origin.
  • Accept responsibility for their own work and the performance of the staff that they manage.
  • Provide a learning environment where lessons are learnt from incidents and shared and eradicate a culture of blame.
  • Demonstrate commitment to working as a team member by working with all colleagues.
  • Take responsibility for remaining current with continual professional development.
  • Support staff and members in their professional development.
  • Act and take appropriate action to protect patients from risk by putting into practice appropriate support and disciplinary procedures for staff.
  • Listen and ensure that anyone who has a genuine concern is treated confidentially, reasonably and fairly.
  • Ensure that staff and members are given appropriate opportunities to take part in decision making.

Alleged breaches of this Code of Conduct will be considered promptly and investigated thoroughly by the Executive Board. Where there has been found to be a breach, a member may have their membership rescinded.

Any threatening abusive behaviour or conduct considered to be damaging to the Institute may end a person’s membership by decision of the Executive Board.