CRCAH Project No: CP178:
La Trobe University
John Willis (Project Manager),
Aboriginal Health Coordinator & Mission Liaison
St Vincents Hospital, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Mobile: 0437 563 263
John Willis (Project Manager), Alwin Chong, Angela Clarke, Monica Lawrence, Gai Wilson and Sue Lowe
- La Trobe University
- University of Melbourne
- La Trobe University
- University of Melbourne (Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit)
- Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia
This project supports a program of cultural reforms to improve cultural sensitivity in acute health care institutions. The experience of Aboriginal people will be used as the central reference point. Systematic case studies of hospitals with different levels of experience in attempting to make their services and surrounds more culturally sensitive to the needs of Aboriginal patients, their families and friends, will be used to gather information and to inform the development and implementation of relevant tools and processes. The objective will be to produce tools and processes that assist hospitals to engage with local Aboriginal communities in a collaborative exercise of cultural reform.
Summary of projected outcomes
- A comprehensive understanding of the diversity, rationale and effectiveness of tools and processes that have been used to improve the culture of hospitals from the perspective of Aboriginal patients, friends, family and carers.
- A comprehensive understanding of the characteristics that Aboriginal people believe would make hospitals more culturally appropriate.
- A comprehensive understanding of the government and accreditation policy conditions that need to be in place to ensure that cultural improvement can be linked into mainstream accountability processes.
- The publication of tools and handbooks describing various stakeholders’ roles in successfully developing a culturally sensitive hospital facility.
- A national network of Aboriginal people able to effectively participate in conventional continuous improvement activities that improve the culture of hospitals and health services. This will be achieved by offering formal and appropriate training to Aboriginal community members.
- Accreditation processes that emphasise the use of tools and processes that encourage cultural reform in hospitals.
Summary of project implementation
Project activity will be implemented in 6 phases. Phases 1–3 involve consultation with Aboriginal and mainstream health providers, a review of operating contexts within hospitals and the establishment of case studies within hospitals. Phases 4-6 involve the testing of interventions – culturally-sensitive continuous quality improvement tools and processes – on location. The ‘organisational readiness for change’ concept will be used to assist with understanding how best to introduce the tools and processes in individual settings.
Timeline and Outcomes
- Final report released in 2010 (see below)
- An online Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patient Quality Improvement Toolkit for Hospital Staff was launched in November 2010. It was designed to give hospitals a systematic approach to improving Aboriginal health service delivery.
- Bridging project completed June 2011
- Willis, J., Wilson, G., Renhard, R., Chong, A. & Clarke, A. 2010, Improving the Culture of Hospitals Project: Final Report, Australian Institute of Primary Care, Melbourne.
- Improving the culture of hospitals: Newsletter No. 3 April 2010 PDF [1.2MB]
- Improving the culture of hospitals: Newsletter No. 2 June 2009 PDF [625KB]
- Improving the culture of hospitals: Newsletter No. 1, October 2008 PDF [343KB]
- Improving the culture of hospitals timeline poster PDF [770KB]
See 'Improving the Culture of Hospitals' article in Wangka Pulka, Issue 2, December 2010, p. 11.