Sarah Low

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Sarah Low

Australian Institute of Health Service Management


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Sarah Low is part of the AIHSM team and is a lecturer for the Master of Health Information Management (MHIM) program at the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

She has a keen interest in the health information needs of developing countries and the education of future health information professionals.  Accordingly, her international career path spans across numerous roles and projects Health Information Management (HIM) field. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science (HIM) and Master of Health Management and is currently undertaking a PhD exploring leadership education and HIM graduate future-proofing for the 21st century with UTAS.

Career summary







Queensland University of Technology




Queensland University of Technology



Graduate Certificate in Research

University of Tasmania



Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy

University of Tasmania




Sarah is currently lecturing with the Master of Health Information Management (MHIM) program at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) with the Australian Institute of Health Service Management (AIHSM) team while undertaking a PhD in leadership education and HIM graduate future-proofing for the 21st century with UTAS.

Prior to working at UTAS, she consulted for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to progress plans to establish a national health information system.  This involved planning and policy work with government level stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and regional WHO health information teams.  She also assisted with the postgraduate Health Information Management program at the University of Tasmania during this time.

Sarah has also worked for the largest healthcare provider in Qatar at Director level, establishing the Health Information Management (HIM) services and supporting the inaugurations of the newest general hospital in the country at the time of her appointment. She also established the first Health Information Management program in the country, at the Community College of Qatar as Program Coordinator.  During her time in Qatar, she was actively involved with the establishment of national strategic projects in the health sector such as the introduction of ICD10AM, AR-DRGs, Clinical Documentation Improvement programs, and Cerner (Clinical Information System).

Sarah completed her Bachelor in Health Science (Health Information Management) and Master in Health Management Degrees in Australia and has worked at various levels across the public and private health sector covering management, data, quality, accreditation, research, and coding.  She is actively involved with research projects in Australia and abroad.

She has a passion for innovative leadership, systems thinking, change management, health informatics, HIM education and HIM and health systems development.

Research Themes

Sarah’s research spans along the UTAS research themes of Better Health and Data, Knowledge and Decisions. Her research interests include developing leadership and professional capacity in health information professionals, future-proofing and sustainable education.


Professional practice

Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA)

Administrative expertise

  • Managing large departments
  • Managing projects
  • Event management
  • Unit coordination


Health Information Management, eHealth, Health informatics, Health data, Health leadership, Health service/s management

Teaching expertise

  • Master Health Information Management - teaching
  • Associate degree Health Information Management – unit design, coordination, teaching

Teaching responsibility

BAA734 Activity based Funding, Casemix and Data Quality (Teaching)

View more on Ms Sarah Low in WARP

Current projects

Sarah is currently involved with a joint research study by the University of Tasmania and University of Melbourne, to develop a health information workforce census in Australia.

Fields of Research

  • Human Resources Management (150305)
  • Health Care Administration (111709)
  • Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
  • Health Promotion (111712)

Research Objectives

  • Health and Support Services (920299)
  • Health Policy Evaluation (920208)
  • Health Education and Promotion (920205)


Publication 1: Butler-Henderson K, Lawrance R, Low S, Donnolley N, & Lee J 2016, Researching the health information workforce. Health Information Management – Interchange, vol. 6 (2), pp. 32-35.


In the context of rapidly progressing e-health reform in Australia, the future Health Information Workforce (HIW) configuration needs to be clearly identified for employers and governments as well as for the HIW professions if workforce supply is going to meet demand. However, this cannot be achieved until the existing workforce has been quantified and qualified. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) currently only monitors the Health Information Manager and Clinical Coder occupations through the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) codes.  

A focus group was held at the 2015 Health Information Workforce Summit to examine the need for a minimum dataset to allow data collection and monitoring on this workforce.

The group concluded that support from govern­ment, employers, and relevant stakeholders, is essential for the success of an ongoing workforce monitoring and evalu­ation program. A national census of the HIW would capture the data to guide national priorities for workforce development, and map roles, functions, competencies, and qualifications. This focus study identified the need to develop a national census as part of an ongoing data collection and evaluation program.

Publication 2: Low S, Abrams K, Butler-Henderson K, Fenton SH, Health information management: changing with the times. To be submitted for the International Medical Informatics Association Yearbook in January 2017.


Objective: With the evolution of patient medical records from paper to electronic media and changes to the way data is sourced, used and managed, there is an opportunity for health information management (HIM) to learn and facilitate the increasing expanse of available patient data.

Methods: This paper discusses the emerging trends and lessons learnt in relation to the following four areas: 1) data and information governance, 2) terminology standards certification, 3) International Classification of Diseases, 11th edition (ICD-11), and 4) data analytics and HIM.

Results: The governance of patient data and information increasingly require the HIM profession to incorporate the roles of data scientist and data steward into their portfolio to ensure data analytics and digital transformation is appropriately managed. Not only are terminology standards required to facilitate the structure and primary use of this data, developments in Canada in relation to the standards, role descriptions, framework and curricula in the form of certification provide one prime example of ensuring the quality of the secondary use of patient data. The impending introduction of ICD-11 brings with it the need for the HIM profession to manage the transition between ICD versions and country modifications incorporating changes to standards, tools and the availability and type of patient data available for secondary use.

Conclusions: In summary, the health information management profession now requires abilities in leadership, data, and informatics in addition to health information science and coding skills to facilitate the expanding secondary use of patient data.

Total publications


Journal Article

(1 outputs)
2016Butler-Henderson K, Lawrance R, Low S, 'Researching the health information workforce', Interchange, 6, (2) pp. 32-35. ISSN 1838-8620 (2016) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Butler-Henderson K

Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2017Low S, Butler-Henderson K, Nash R, 'Competencies in education to help students cope in the 21st century', 2nd Education Transforms Symposium, 12 -14 July 2017, Hobart, Tasmania (2017) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Butler-Henderson K; Nash R

2016Butler-Henderson K, Low S, Donnolley N, Lee J, 'Fifty shade of HIM: quantifying and qualifying the workforce in Australia', International Federation of Health Information Management Associations, Tokyo (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Butler-Henderson K

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Studying the impact of the SLHD health services management program (2017 - 2021)$1,250,000
The research study is investigating the impact of the Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) health service management (HSM) program. The HSM program strives to improve organisational management, leadership, and staff capability in the health services. The research will examine the activities and outcomes from the HSM program across a longitudinal period.
Sydney Local Health District ($1,250,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Greenfield D; Butler-Henderson K; Eljiz K; Siddiqui N; Milne J; Low S; Warwick SM
2017 - 2021
Investigating the SWSLHD Transforming your experience program (2017 - 2019)$540,000
The research study is investigating the impact of the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) program entitled Transforming your experience (TYE). The TYE program is seeking to improve organisational functioning, staff engagement and the patient/family experience with the health services. The research will examine healthcare organisational development, management and leadership improvement activities to determine the impact of the TYE program for staff and patients/ families.
South Western Sydney Local Health District ($540,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Greenfield D; Eljiz K; Siddiqui N; Butler-Henderson K; Milne J; Low S; Warwick SM
2017 - 2019