Frontier healthcare: Aboriginal patients and doctors developing culturally safe communication at Royal Darwin Hospital

In collaboration with Aboriginal leaders, the Top End Health Service and the NT Aboriginal Interpreter Service this PhD project, embedded in the Menzies ‘Communicate Study’, is piloting new models to improve patient-provider communication at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH). The research focuses on supporting the health professional to address the barriers which hinder effective communication with patients. Two interventions are being piloted:

* Interpreter Ward Round pilot: Yolngu and Tiwi interpreters are embedded in a nephrology medical team at RDH for a pilot period. Results will explore the positive impact of communicating with patients in their first language on health outcomes.

* ‘Ask the Specialist’ cultural education package: seven themed podcasts coupled with reflexive yarning circles is being piloted as additional cultural education. Podcasts address the FAQ’s doctors struggle with when working with Aboriginal patients. Questions are answered by Larrakia, Tiwi and Yolngu leaders who have personal experience of RDH.

Models are being analysed with a view to broader scale up.

See the “Communicate” Study Poster 

Communicate Study – Stage 2

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