Managing Two Worlds Together. Stage 3: Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys—Study Report: The Lowitja Institute, Melbourne

Janet Kelly, Judith Dwyer, Brita Pekarsky, Tamara Mackean, Eileen Willis, Charlotte De Crespigny, Sharon Perkins, Kim O'Donnell, Rosie King, Laney Mackean, Alex Brown, Monica Lawrence, Karen Dixon

Research output: Book/ReportOther reportpeer-review


The Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys (IAPJ) study is the third stage of the Managing Two Worlds Together (MTWT) project. The MTWT 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.

Stage 1 (2008–11) focused on understanding the problems that occur within and across patient journeys, and the barriers and enablers to access, quality and continuity of care. Challenges and strategies from the perspectives of individual
Aboriginal patients, their families, and health and support staff and managers were examined using interviews, focus groups and patient journey mapping. Complex patient journeys were analysed and a patient journey analysis tool was developed collaboratively with staff, patients and carers.

Stage 2 (2012) focused on possible solutions and strategies. As the research team shared findings with health care providers, case managers and educators in a range of different health and education settings, the potential and scope of the
Aboriginal patient journey mapping (PJM) tools for quality improvement, training and education emerged. The resulting tools consist of a set of tables that enable an entire patient journey to be mapped across multiple health and geographic
sites, from the perspective of the patient, their family and health staff in each location.

Stage 3 (2013–15) involved an expanded research team and staff participants working together in a range of health care and education settings in South Australia and the Northern Territory. The aim was to modify, adapt and test the Aboriginal PJM tools developed in Stages 1 and 2. As the project progressed the basic set of tools was further developed with flexible adaptations for each site.
This involved three steps – Preparing to map the patient journey, Using the tools and Taking action on the findings – organised into 13 tasks with prompt
questions. Careful consideration was given as to how the information that emerged from the use of the tools could best highlight communication, coordination and collaboration gaps within and between different health care providers (staff, services and organisations) so as to inform the design of effective strategies for improvement. These were compared and combined
with existing policies, practice and protocols.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherFlinders University
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print) 978-1-921889-29-5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2015

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