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Managing Two Worlds Together: Aboriginal Patient Journey Mapping Tools project

Health care is delivered in specialised segments, but mostly succeeds or fails as a package. Tracking patients’ experience through the system is an effective way to evaluate how and why the package works – or doesn’t.

The Managing Two Worlds Together project investigated what works well and what needs improvement in the health system for Aboriginal people who travel for hospital and specialist care from rural and remote areas of South Australia and the Northern Territory to city hospitals.

Funded by SA Health and the Lowitja Institute and associated CRCs, the project evolved over three stages:

Stage 1(2008–11) focused on understanding the problems

Stage 2(2012) focused on possible solutions and strategies

Stage 3(2013–15) develop tools for use in cardiac, maternal, renal care, remote and city sites

The study enabled better understanding of complex patient journeys for Aboriginal people and produced practical tools that highlight the critical segments and gaps. Some of its positive impacts are:

  • reduced average length of stay in the long term 
  • improved level of engagement between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, referred care providers and primary level providers (private or public) to deliver better follow up and referral processes 
  • improved long term stability in primary provider choice 
  • improved patient satisfaction with the care and patient journey (based on domains of concern to patients), and 
  • reduced admissions and incomplete treatments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
Stage 3 Publications/tools

The tools help identify what support is needed and what needs to be done to improve coordination, communication, collaboration and cultural safety. They make the complex journey visible; organise the journey for analysis; and enable critical steps and gaps to be highlighted, thus providing a focus for targeted action – ultimately for better health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Stages 1 and 2 publications:
More information about Stages 1 and 2: 

Created: 31 January 2013 - Updated: 12 October 2018