2. Partnering with Consumers

Partnerships in healthcare governance planning, design, measurement and evaluation

Action 2.11

The health service organisation:

a. Involves consumers in partnerships in the governance of, and to design, measure and evaluate, health care

b. Has processes so that the consumers involved in these partnerships reflect the diversity of consumers who use the service or, where relevant, the diversity of the local community

Intent

Consumers help shape the way the health service organisation operates to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, and these consumers are reflective of the diversity of the people who use its services or, if relevant, the local community.

Reflective questions

How does the health service organisation involve consumers in governance planning, and the design, measurement and evaluation of health care?

How does the health service organisation ensure that the diversity of consumers and local communities who use the service is reflected in these partnerships?

Key tasks

  • Identify the diversity of consumers who use the services and who are part of the local community.

  • Implement a framework and systematic processes for partnering with consumers in the design, measurement and evaluation of healthcare services delivered by the organisation.

  • Implement a policy to ensure that the consumers involved in these partnerships represent the diversity of consumers who use the organisation’s services.

Strategies for improvement

Hospitals

Consumers can make effective and meaningful contributions to health service planning and development through their involvement in organisational governance and decision-making.1 To enable these contributions, integrate partnering with consumers into the governance systems of the organisation.

Review the diversity of consumers who use the organisation’s services and make up the local community

Consumer partnership and engagement activities should truly reflect the diversity of consumers who use, or may use, the organisation’s services. Gathering information about the type of consumers who use the organisation’s services and comprise the local community can help identify specific consumer groups who should be involved in partnerships with the organisation.

Strategies may include2,3,4:

  • Undertaking a community profiling project, which involves gathering information about the diversity within the community; its history, social and economic characteristics; the groups and networks within the community; and the social and infrastructure services that exist
  • Administering surveys to identify diversity among current patients and carers
  • Using demographic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, or local, state and territory government sources to understand the background of the organisation’s consumers
  • Networking with other organisations or individuals in the community such as culturally and linguistically diverse community groups, community participation managers, Primary Health Networks, Local Hospital Networks, local and state government organisations, and professional associations to share knowledge about community needs.

Review the current level of consumer partnerships

Identify the organisation’s current levels of engagement with consumers. Assess consumer partnership and involvement in the organisation’s:

  • Governance
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Health service design, redesign and evaluation
  • Review of safety and quality performance.

Strategies may include:

  • Conducting a self-assessment of the organisation’s engagement with consumers
  • Making a list of current committees or groups involved in strategic planning, health service design, and organisational safety and quality performance, and identifying the level of consumer involvement in these groups; interview consumers who currently take part in these committees or groups and find out whether they feel their voice is being heard
  • Talking to the workforce involved in strategic planning, health service design, and reviewing organisational safety and quality performance information to find out how they work with consumers
  • Reviewing policies or processes to identify whether there is currently a need for consumer involvement in the design, measurement and evaluation of healthcare services.

If consumer partnerships are already embedded within design, measurement and evaluation activities, use tools such as the Partnership Self-Assessment Tool5 or the Patient Based Care Challenge6 to assess the extent and effectiveness of those partnerships. Map the existing arrangements against the strategies suggested below to identify other systems or ideas.

If the organisation does not currently partner with consumers in its design, measurement and evaluation activities, establish a framework and associated processes to actively involve consumers.

Support consumer partnerships in governance and strategic leadership

Strategies to support, promote and improve consumer partnerships in governance and strategic leadership may include:

  • Engaging organisational leaders to act as champions for consumer partnerships
  • Creating meaningful positions for consumers on formal governance committees, such as boards, advisory groups and community councils1,7,8
  • Creating consumer-only advisory groups that provide direct input to leadership and management structures9
  • Developing a formal and consistent method for recruiting consumers to be involved in committees10
  • Implementing a structured support program for consumers involved in governance and strategic leadership roles, which includes orientation and training for consumers to ensure that they feel equipped to provide valuable and meaningful input into discussions and decision-making1
  • Employing a facilitator or coordinator to engage with, support, and build the confidence of, current and potential consumer partners1,11
  • Providing a mentoring service between experienced and new consumer partners1 – for example, the Consumer Buddy Program at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research encourages long-term and meaningful engagement of consumers in medical research processes
  • Educating the workforce to improve their understanding of the many potential roles for consumer partners in governance and strategic leadership1
  • Creating a leadership position with responsibility for improving the organisation’s commitment to consumer partnership – for example, the ‘chief experience officer’ at the Cleveland Clinic reports directly to the chief executive officer, and provides overall leadership for consumer partnerships within the organisation12
  • Providing reimbursement and/or remuneration to consumers who take part in governance and leadership activities to ensure that consumer partners are not out of pocket, and to reflect the value and importance of their input.1,13

Support consumer partnerships in safety and quality activities

Strategies to support, promote and improve consumer partnerships in safety and quality activities may include:

  • Providing multiple opportunities for consumers to provide feedback on the safety and quality of services; this may include surveys, suggestion boxes and opportunities for formal or informal consultation at multiple times throughout a patient’s care1
  • Engaging consumers in analysing organisational safety and quality performance1,13
  • Engaging consumers in evaluating patient feedback data1,13
  • Involving consumers in planning and implementing safety and quality improvement activities1,13
  • Shaping the attitudes of the workforce so that there is greater acknowledgement, acceptance and understanding of the value of consumer feedback; consumers can provide a unique insight into safety and quality risks, which issues should have priority, and which solutions are acceptable1
  • Regularly informing consumers and the wider community of adverse events or problems relating to care, and the corrective action that has been implemented13
  • Involving consumers in developing consumer information about clinical safety issues, such as potential risks and side effects of care.13

Support consumer partnerships in performance and skills management

Strategies to support, promote and improve consumer partnerships in performance and skills management may include:

  • Engaging consumers in workforce recruitment, potentially by including consumers on workforce selection panels1
  • Involving consumers in workforce training about consumer participation (see Action 2.6).

Review existing policies and processes for engaging with consumers

Ensure that policies and processes include engaging with a diverse range of consumers who best represent the organisation’s service users and local community. This includes ‘hard-to-reach’ consumer groups, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Talk to the workforce about how they involve these groups.

Connect with diverse and hard-to-reach consumers

If the organisation does not actively engage with diverse groups of consumers, develop or adapt a policy to engage with these consumers. Several strategies may be needed because different people will respond to different engagement methods.

Strategies for partnering with diverse and hard-to-reach consumers include:

  • Engaging with community leaders, groups or liaison officers to determine the most appropriate engagement strategies for particular groups within the community; this will help identify any barriers to participation before approaching them
  • Inviting representatives from these groups to join boards or be involved in consumer advisory groups.

More ideas for connecting with diverse and hard-to-reach consumers can be found in the Health Care Providers’ Guide to Engaging Multicultural Communities and Consumers.14

Use consumer information respectfully

Ensure that, if feasible, the organisation acts on the information provided by consumers and feeds back information on changes that have occurred as a result of consumer advice.

Ensure that information provided by consumers or carers about their experiences is treated sensitively, that privacy and confidentiality are maintained, and that consumers and carers are supported to share their experiences and stories to the extent that they are comfortable.

Resources to help consider the consumer role include:

Day Procedure Services

Consumers can make effective and meaningful contributions to health service planning and development through their involvement in organisational governance and decision-making.1 To support these contributions, integrate partnering with consumers into the governance systems of the organisation.

Interactions of day procedure services with consumers are generally short term. However, many effective strategies are available for engaging consumers in the design, measurement and evaluation of services. If the day procedure service is part of a larger, networked group, see whether the network partners with consumers in its design or evaluation activities. If so, the service may be able to draw on these partnerships for input into local design or evaluation activities.

If the service is not part of a larger network or does not already partner with consumers, use the strategies below to adopt or adapt a framework that encourages consumer input into design and evaluation activities.

Strategies to promote consumer input include:

  • Engaging organisational leaders to act as champions for consumer partnerships
  • Incorporating consumer stories into the organisation’s governance and leadership meetings to keep consumers’ needs and perspectives in mind; this may involve starting each meeting by reading a story of a consumer’s recent experience with the service or by inviting a consumer to speak at meetings
  • Inviting consumers to participate in the governance group or strategic planning team; services can identify interested consumers through pre- or post-procedure surveys, or through informal conversations during their care
  • Building relationships with local health consumer organisations; services may be able to draw on these relationships to provide input into strategic planning, safety and quality, and performance management activities
  • Providing opportunities for consumers to provide feedback on the governance and leadership of the service, and the safety and performance of the services provided – for example, surveys, suggestion boxes, and opportunities for formal or informal consultation at multiple times throughout a patient’s care, such as during follow-up phone calls1
  • Shaping the attitudes of the workforce so that there is greater acknowledgement, acceptance and understanding of the value of consumer feedback; consumers can provide a unique insight into safety and quality risks, which issues should have priority, and which solutions are acceptable.1

It is also important to ensure that consumer partnership and engagement activities truly reflect the diversity of consumers who use, or may use, the service.

Day procedure services may provide care to people from different communities, not just those from the local area. Services should gather information about the diversity of consumers who use their service to identify specific consumer groups who should be involved in partnerships, and develop or improve current communication mechanisms.17

A first step in this process is to routinely collect patient data through pre-admission screening or by administering surveys to help identify diversity among current patients.

For guidance on undertaking surveys, see the Participation Toolkit, including the ‘Surveys and questionnaires’ section.

In addition, the following resources can be used to guide partnerships with consumers:

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Policy documents that describe the process for involving consumers in partnerships to design, measure and evaluate health care
  • Description of the roles and responsibilities of consumers in strategic, operational and service planning partnerships
  • Membership of groups tasked with steering design and redesign projects, including consumers who are representative of the patient population
  • Committee and meeting records that show consumer involvement in activities relating to healthcare planning, design, measurement and evaluation
  • Project plans and reports that include information on consumer involvement in the development of design or redesign projects
  • Reports from designers and architects outlining how they have responded to consumer suggestions for improvements
  • Feedback from consumers, survey results or evaluation reports on the processes of engagement and support provided to consumers
  • Reports that detail consumer participation in activities to design, measure and evaluate health care, such as notes from interviews or focus groups, planning workshops or forums, or meetings with community and consumer organisations
  • Committee and meeting records that show that the health service organisation is represented at local network meetings that reflect the diversity of the local consumer population
  • Feedback from consumers and consumer representatives on the involvement of consumers in governance, planning, design, measurement and evaluation of health care.
MPS & Small Hospitals

MPSs or small hospitals that are part of a local health network or private hospital group should ensure that consumers from their service are encouraged and supported to take part in established design, measurement and evaluation activities.

Small hospitals that are not part of a local health network or private hospital group should develop mechanisms for actively involving consumers – for example, by:

  • Inviting consumers to be part of relevant working groups
  • Talking with consumers in waiting rooms or at informal meetings
  • Using data about consumer experiences (such as state-based patient experience surveys or local surveys) to help identify key issues and opportunities for improvement
  • Meeting with community and consumer organisations to identify key issues and opportunities for improvement
  • Holding a joint workshop with members of the workforce and consumers.

Consumer partnership and engagement activities should reflect the diversity of consumers who use, or may use, the organisation’s services.

Identify the organisation’s current levels of engagement with consumers by:

  • Conducting a self-assessment of the organisation’s engagement with consumers
  • Making a list of current committees or groups involved in strategic planning, health service design, and organisational safety and quality performance, and identifying the level of consumer involvement in these groups; interview consumers who currently take part in these committees or groups and find out whether they feel their voice is being heard
  • Talking to the workforce involved in strategic planning, health service design, and reviewing organisational safety and quality performance information to find out how they work with consumers
  • Reviewing policies or processes to identify whether there is currently a need for consumer involvement in the design, measurement and evaluation of healthcare services.

If the organisation does not actively engage with diverse groups of consumers, develop or adapt a policy to engage with these consumers. Several strategies may be needed because different people will respond to different engagement methods. Strategies for partnering with diverse and hard-toreach consumers include:

  • Engaging with community leaders, groups or liaison officers to determine the most appropriate engagement strategies for particular groups within the community; this will help identify any barriers to participation before approaching them
  • Inviting representatives from these groups to join boards or be involved in consumer advisory groups.

Use consumer information respectfully

Ensure that, if feasible, the organisation acts on the information provided by consumers and feeds back information on changes that have occurred as a result of consumer advice.

Ensure that information provided by consumers or carers about their experiences is treated sensitively, that privacy and confidentiality are maintained, and that consumers and carers are supported to share their experiences and stories to the extent that they are comfortable.

Action 2.12

The health service organisation provides orientation, support and education to consumers who are partnering in the governance, design, measurement and evaluation of the organisation

Intent

Consumers partnering in organisational design and governance have the skills and knowledge they need to be able to contribute effectively.

Reflective questions

What training and support are offered to consumers who are partnering in the governance, design, measurement and evaluation of the health service organisation?

How is feedback from consumers used to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the support provided?

Key task

Develop (or adapt), and provide access to, orientation training and resources for consumers who take part in governance processes, or contribute to design, measurement or evaluation activities.

Strategies for improvement

Hospitals

Provide training and support for consumers involved in the organisation’s governance process, and those who take part in design, measurement or evaluation activities. This gives these consumers the best opportunity to contribute meaningfully and effectively to the organisation. Training can be provided face to face, through take-home resources or through online portals, and may include13:

  • Orientation to the health service organisation
  • Orientation to health service decision-making processes for consumers
  • Meeting procedures
  • Communication skills.

Review existing processes for orienting consumers who have taken on a partnership role in organisational design and governance

This may involve identifying and reviewing the relevance, accessibility and applicability of induction processes and materials for consumers involved in organisational design and governance, including:

  • Written information and resources on relevant subjects, required skills, roles and responsibilities
  • Training and education
  • Ongoing support.

Develop and facilitate access to orientation, training and resources

Develop and/or facilitate access to comprehensive orientation, training and resources for consumers partnering with the organisation.

Strategies may include:

Determine which consumers will gain the most benefit from participating in orientation and training. Training may be more applicable for consumers who are involved in formal partnerships with the organisation, such as members of boards or committees. It may not be feasible or appropriate to provide training for consumers who are involved in more informal partnerships, such as waiting room discussions or consultation processes.

Consider the needs of consumers involved in informal partnerships and ensure that they:

  • Are aware that the information they provide is separate to the process of providing or receiving care, and will not affect their treatment
  • Understand the process in which they are participating and how the information they provide will be used
  • Have an opportunity to provide further comment later if they wish
  • Have an opportunity to raise concerns about the process if they wish.

When looking for ways to support and train consumers and carers, look at similar organisations, speak to state-based consumer healthcare organisations, and think about how existing orientation training and resources could be adapted for consumers and carers.

Day Procedure Services

Provide training and support for consumers involved in the organisation’s governance process, and those who take part in design, measurement or evaluation activities. This gives these consumers the best opportunity to contribute meaningfully and effectively to the organisation. Training can be provided face to face, through take-home resources or through online portals.

Day procedure services may not have the capacity to develop comprehensive training and resources. Instead, look to adapt resources from similar organisations or arrange access to external training programs for consumers partnering with the organisation. Many consumer organisations provide consumer representative training. In addition, the Health Issues Centre has developed Australia’s only accredited consumer representative training course.17

Other strategies for orientating and training consumers may include:

  • Providing a tour of the facility, introducing the consumer to key members of the workforce, and explaining the consumer’s role and expectations of their involvement
  • Having a key member of the workforce meet with the consumer regularly to touch base and identify any information required or skills that the consumer would like to develop as part of their role.

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Policy documents that describe the orientation and ongoing training provided to consumers who have formed partnerships with the health service organisation
  • Calendar of internal and external training that is available to support consumers who take part in the governance, design, measurement and evaluation of the health service organisation
  • Feedback from consumers and consumer representatives on their experience of orientation, support and education for involvement in governance, design, measurement and evaluation.
MPS & Small Hospitals

MPSs or small hospitals that are part of a local health network or private hospital group should adopt or adapt and use the established orientation program for consumers who partner with their organisation.

Small hospitals that are not part of a local health network or private hospital group should develop training and support for consumers who are involved in the organisation’s governance process, and consumers who take part in design, measurement or evaluation activities, by:

  • Adapting written resources from similar organisations
  • Facilitating access to external training programs for consumers who are partnering with the organisation, such as consumer representative training (see Australia’s only accredited consumer representative training course19, developed by the Health Issues Centre)
  • Providing a tour of the facility, introducing the consumer to key members of the workforce, and explaining the consumer’s role and expectations
  • Having a key workforce member meet with the consumer regularly to identify any information required or skills that the consumer would like to develop as part of their role.

Action 2.13

The health service organisation works in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to meet their healthcare needs

Intent

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive health care that meets their needs.

Reflective question

What framework is used to enable the health service organisation to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities?

Key tasks

  • Implement (or adapt) a framework for partnering with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

  • Adapt existing consumer resources or programs to be culturally appropriate for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

  • Create a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers who use the health service organisation.

Strategies for improvement

Hospitals

Review the current level of partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

This may involve reviewing:

  • Policies or processes that aid access to culturally appropriate and safe health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community
  • The involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on boards or advisory committees involved in the design and evaluation of health care
  • The presence of Aboriginal health workers or community liaison officers in the workforce
  • Whether information for consumers is culturally appropriate, including the organisation’s charter of rights and patient information brochures
  • Linkages with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and consumer organisations.

Develop an approach to partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

If the organisation has an embedded approach for partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, review the framework and processes against the strategies recommended below to determine whether any changes are needed.

If the organisation does not have an embedded approach for partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, develop a framework and associated processes to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who use services receive health care that meets their needs.

Strategies for partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities may include:

  • Speaking with elders and other community leaders to understand the cultural considerations and healthcare needs of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community; engaging and building long-term relationships with well-respected senior members of a community can increase service acceptance23
  • Engaging with the broader community, rather than focusing on individual consumer engagement approaches; use engagement strategies that fit with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community life, including informal gatherings such as yarning circles, bingo or sharing a meal24
  • Employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in positions such as Aboriginal health workers, liaison officers, family support workers, or education and training officers who can help engagement with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; if the organisation lacks the capacity to employ such positions, engage directly with members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to act as champions in support of building partnerships with the organisation24,25
  • Developing specific policies or procedures to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in governance and planning activities
  • Hosting culturally safe advisory groups or committees23
  • Partnering with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and agencies.

Adapt existing consumer programs and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

English is not the first language of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These consumers may also face difficulties in understanding information provided by the organisation because of poor general and individual health literacy.

Strategies to adapt programs and resources include:

  • Engaging with members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to review consumer programs and resources, and provide guidance on ways to adapt the material to be culturally safe and appropriate
  • Reducing the amount of content in information brochures and resources, and supplementing this with culturally specific graphics or audiovisual aids to support understanding.

Create a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who use the organisation’s services

Bringing together the cultures of a health service organisation and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can improve access to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.26 Strategies for this may include:

  • Providing cultural competency training so that all members of the workforce understand the historical and contemporary factors that may affect the willingness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to partner with the organisation24; this is an important first step in understanding the cultural considerations of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities23
  • Incorporating cultural symbols into the service setting, such as27:
    • flying the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag in a prominent location
    • respectfully displaying cultural artwork or artefacts
    • mounting a plaque that recognises the traditional owners of the land on which the organisation is located
  • Participating in and acknowledging major cultural events, such as National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week or Reconciliation Day
  • Allocating a space that can be used for the spiritual and cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, their families and communities.

Develop respectful relationships

In some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the cultural concept of health may be different from the biomedical model adopted by the organisation. Be aware of this when seeking consumer feedback and input into health service design.

Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities means developing a relationship built on trust and integrity. Allow enough time and resources to form this relationship.

Further strategies are available in NSQHS Standards User Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

Day Procedure Services

This action applies to day procedure services that commonly provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These services should refer to NSQHS Standards Guide for Hospitals, NSQHS Standards Accreditation Workbook and NSQHS Standards User Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health for detailed implementation strategies and examples of evidence for this action. 

Day procedure services that rarely provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or when the risk of harm for these patients is the same as for the general patient population, should manage the specific risk of harm, and provide safe and high-quality care for these patients through the safety and quality improvement systems that relate to their whole patient population. 

Day procedure services need to implement strategies to improve the cultural awareness and cultural competency of the workforce under Action 1.21, and identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients under Action 5.8.

MPS & Small Hospitals

If MPSs and small hospitals are to better meet the health needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, they need to work in partnership with these communities and understand and observe local cultural principles.

MPSs or small hospitals that are part of a local health network or private hospital group should adopt or adapt and use the established framework for partnering with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This includes adapting existing consumer resources or programs to be culturally appropriate for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Small hospitals that are not part of a local health network or private hospital group should develop mechanisms for determining the diversity of the consumers who use the services and the local community by3:

  • Building relationships directly with members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to act as advisors and champions
  • Forming partnerships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and agencies
  • Sourcing culturally appropriate health information resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Bringing together the cultures of a health service organisation and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can improve access to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.26 Strategies for this may include:

  • Identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities within the catchment and the relevant cultural protocols to guide partnerships
  • Identifying key contacts, elders and opinion leaders in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and contacting them
  • Establishing and implementing mechanisms for forming and maintaining partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and representative organisations.

Further strategies are available in NSQHS Standards User Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

Action 2.14

The health service organisation works in partnership with consumers to incorporate their views and experiences into training and education for the workforce

Intent

The workforce has an understanding of health care from the consumer’s perspective, and the value that consumers can bring to organisational design and governance.

Reflective question

How are consumers involved in the design and delivery of workforce training and education?

Key tasks

  • Implement a policy that involves consumers in the design and delivery of workforce training
  • Consult regularly with consumers to seek their views and input for the development and delivery of workforce training.

Strategies for improvement

Hospitals

Develop or adapt policies or processes on workforce training to include consumer involvement

Consider the current processes for training and identify whether they can be used or modified to address this action. Strategies to involve consumers in the development of training could include19,2,4:

  • Involving consumers in committees or advisory groups tasked with developing or reviewing training materials and resources
  • Informally talking with consumers and carers in waiting areas about what they would include in person-centred care and partnership training for the clinical workforce
  • Convening focus groups or workshops to seek consumers’ advice on critical information, resources and strategies for training the clinical workforce in person-centred care and partnerships
  • Approaching community groups or local consumer organisations to provide feedback and input into the development of training materials and resources
  • Inviting consumers and carers to attend and review training sessions to ensure that the training reflects their needs and perspectives.

Involve consumers in the delivery of training on person-centred care, partnerships and consumer perspectives

Patient stories can provide a unique perspective of the consumer experience of the health service organisation. More so than other forms of research, patient stories can give a whole-of-system overview, highlighting what matters most to service users.28

Strategies to use patient stories may include:

  • Inviting consumers or carers to present on their experiences
  • Using video or audio recordings of personal stories from consumers or carers
  • Undertaking exercises in which members of the workforce ‘live in the patient’s shoes’ to gain an understanding of the experience of consumers (see Patient-Centered Care Improvement Guide).29

Manage consumer information

When involving consumers in the planning, delivery or review of workforce training, document the strategies used and the information collected from consumers in reports, diary entries, meeting agendas or minutes, or other equivalent records.

If consumer or carer stories are used in training, ensure that this information is treated sensitively, that privacy and confidentiality are maintained, and that consumers or carers are supported to share their experiences and stories to the extent that they are comfortable.

Day Procedure Services

Develop or adapt policy or processes on workforce training to include consumer involvement

Day procedure services may use an external provider to provide training about partnerships with consumers. If this is the case, try to use a provider that involves consumers.

If training to the workforce is delivered locally, services can:

  • Invite consumers or local consumer organisations to speak to members of the workforce
  • Talk to patients and carers in waiting areas about what they think is important to include in training about partnerships for the clinical workforce
  • Hold workshops or focus groups with consumers to seek their advice on key information, resources and strategies for training the clinical workforce in partnerships
  • Invite consumers to attend and review training sessions to ensure that the training reflects their needs and perspectives.

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Project plans, communication strategies or consultation plans that describe the involvement of consumers in the development of training curriculums and materials
  • Committee and meeting records in which training curriculums for the workforce were discussed and feedback was provided by consumers
  • Training documents that incorporate consumers’ views and experiences
  • Records of training or presentations provided to the workforce by consumers
  • Feedback from consumers involved in developing training and education resources for the workforce.
MPS & Small Hospitals

MPSs or small hospitals that are part of a local health network or private hospital group should adopt or adapt and use the established programs and resources that incorporate the views and experiences of consumers into training.

Small hospitals that are not part of a local health network or private hospital group should develop mechanisms to incorporate the views and experiences of consumers into training by:

  • Informally talking with consumers and carers in waiting areas about what they would include in person-centred care and partnership training for the clinical workforce
  • Convening focus groups or workshops to seek consumers’ advice on critical information, resources and strategies for training the clinical workforce in person-centred care and partnerships
  • Inviting consumers and carers to attend and review training sessions to ensure that the training reflects their needs and perspectives4,2,29
  • Inviting consumers or the local consumer organisation to speak to the workforce and share patient stories.
Last updated 2nd July, 2018 at 10:24pm
BACK TO TOP
References

Johnson A. Consumer and community engagement in health services: a literature review to support the development of an evidence-based consumer and community engagement strategy for the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, South Australia. Adelaide: Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia and SA Health; 2015.

Scottish Health Council. The participation toolkit. Edinburgh: SHC; 2010.

SA Health. Guide for engaging with consumers and the community. Adelaide: SA Health; 2013.

Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries. The engagement toolkit – version 4. Melbourne: DEPI; 2014.

Clinical Excellence Commission. Patient-based care challenge. Sydney: CEC; 2011.

World Health Organization. WHO global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services: interim report. Geneva: WHO; 2015.

Gibson A, Lewando-Hundt G, Blaxter L. Weak and strong publics: drawing on Nancy Fraser to explore parental participation in neonatal networks. Health Expect 2014;17(1):104–15.

Panos London. Beyond consultation: a guide for health commissioners: how staff and service users can work together to improve health services. London: Panos and Naz Project London; 2012.

Nathan S, Braithwaite J, Stephenson N. The scope and impact of community participation: the views of community representatives in an Australian health service. J Health Organ Manag 2014;28(3):405–21.

Nathan S, Braithwaite J, Stephenson N. Facilitating the action of community representatives in a health service: the role of a community participation coordinator. BMC Health Serv Res 2013;13:154.

Meyers S. The total picture: developing a patient experience. Trustee 2009;62(2):18–22.

Victorian Department of Human Services. Enabling the consumer role on clinical governance: a guide for health services Melbourne: Victorian Department of Human Services; 2004.

Queensland Health. Health care providers’ guide to engaging multicultural communities and consumers. Brisbane: Queensland Health; 2012.

Victorian Quality Council. Enabling the consumer role in clinical governance: a guide for health services. Melbourne: Victorian Government Department of Human Services; 2004.

Cancer Australia. Consumer involvement toolkit. Sydney: Cancer Australia; 2016 [cited 2016 Mar 15].

Wilson-Stronks A, Lee KK, Cordero CL, Kopp AL, Galvez E. One size does not fit all: meeting the healthcare needs of diverse populations. Oakbrook Terrace (IL): The Joint Commission; 2008.

Health Issues Centre. Getting Started toolkit. Melbourne: Health Issues Centre; 2016 [cited 2016 Mar 3].

Health Consumers Queensland. Getting the healthcare you need: an advocacy toolkit for people using the healthcare system in Queensland. Brisbane: Health Consumers Queensland; 2011.

Victorian Department of Health. Consumer representatives checklist. Melbourne: Department of Health; 2011.

Cancer Australia. Involving consumers from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Surry Hills: Cancer Australia; 2013.

Spalding K. Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: a review of the literature. Sydney: The Benevolent Society; 2013.

Cancer Australia. Involving consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Surry Hills: Cancer Australia; 2013.

Bainbridge R, McCalman J, Clifford A, Tsey K for Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; 2015.

Victorian Auditor-General. Consumer participation in the health system. Melbourne: Victorian Auditor-General’s Office; 2013.

Consumers Health Forum of Australia. Capturing, analysing and using consumers’ health experience narratives to drive better health outcomes. Canberra: CHF; 2013.