Case studies

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Over the last few years, we have seen some great examples of how the Lighthouse Hospital project has improved outcomes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heart health space. 

Click on any of the stories below to learn more. 

Governance

A voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff ensures strong cultural governance 
Broome Regional Health Service
Broome Regional Health Service has strengthened cultural governance of hospital operations, projects, services and around Aboriginal health by establishing an Aboriginal staff advisory committee.

Workforce

Cardiac trained Aboriginal Health Practitioners improve patient care
Flinders Medical Centre
Flinders Medical Centre is trialling two cardiac trained Aboriginal Health Practitioner roles to improve patient care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cardiac patients.

The role of Aboriginal Liaison Officers in reducing discharge against medical advice 
Kalgoorlie Health Campus
Through improved internal hospital processes and procedures, patients at risk of discharge against medical advice are being supported at the Kalgoorlie Health Campus.

Standardised Aboriginal Liaison Officer assessments  
Fiona Stanley Hospital
The project team identified an opportunity to standardise the admission process and documentation to ensure this information is readily available to staff involved in the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. To enable this, an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer admission assessment form was developed and piloted.

Care Pathways

Improving cardiac rehabilition rates of participation
Coffs Harbour Health Campus
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cardiac rehabilitation referral and participation rates in Coffs Harbour have increased as a result of earlier engagement by the cardiac rehabilitation team. 

Partnering with community to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander care pathways 
Townsville Hospital and Health Service
Research undertaken by Townsville Hospital revealed many gaps in discharge planning and coordination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Improving access to nicotine replacement therapy on discharge
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Access to a combination of pulsatile and long acting nicotine replacement therapies and counselling for Princess Alexandra Hospital patients during their stay has reduced smoking rates.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient outcomes can be improved by clinical yarning and patient navigation
Cairns Hospital
Darren, an Aboriginal man from Western Queensland was assigned an Aboriginal patient navigator to improve his health outcomes. A culturally safe relationship with his patient navigator and clinical yarning has significantly improved his health. 

Optimising discharge processes improves outpatient care
Royal Perth Hospital 
Royal Perth Hospital’s Aboriginal Discharge Optimisation Project has transformed discharge processes and care for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. Over 15 new processes, guiding documents and resources were developed.

Online training improves identification practices
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service
Identification practice significantly improved at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service after staff were trained on how to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Reminding staff to 'ask the question of origin'
Coffs Harbous Health Campus
To prompt Coffs Harbour Health Campus staff to ask the question of origin, mouse pads were designed that promote the importance of identification. 

Increasing the visibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
Coffs Harbous Health Campus
As an initiative of the Lighthouse Hospital Project, the hospital's staff identification bage was redesigned with local Aboriginal artwork to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff who wished to be identified.  

Improving discharge medication practices with staff education 
Orange Health Service
Comprehensive education for staff is important with any new process introduced. Orange Health Service’s staff education has improved discharge medication practices. 

Improving identification practices through staff training  
Orange Health Service
Investigation of identification practices at Orange Health Service through the Lighthouse Hospital Project highlighted that hospital staff were not consistently asking patients the question “Are you of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin?” at the point of presentation, admission or registration.  To improve practice, the team provided face to face identification training to frontline staff across the hospital who are responsible for identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander discharge against medical advice rates
Mount Isa Base Hospital
Using a systems approach to improve the patient experience has reduced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander discharge against medical advice rates at Mount Isa Base Hospital. 

Cultural Competence

Using patient rounding and clinical yarning to identify gaps and opportunities
John Hunter Hospital
Traditional patient rounding approaches to gather Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient feedback can be more effective when a clinical yarning approach is applied. 

Creating a space for healing and yarning
The Prince Charles Hospital
To help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel more welcome and comfortable in the hospital environment, The Prince Charles Hospital Lighthouse Hospital Project team developed a healing garden and yarning space. 

The silent workload: addressing cultural safety in workplace improves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff retention
Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital
Tamworth Hospital developed a two-day pilot training program which included a day on country. The training was called Empower and Unite and was offered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives from the hospital and across the district.  

Message Sticks - a communication tool for health promotion and community partnerships
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
The Lighthouse project team identified a need for increased access to culturally appropriate health promotion information and more awareness of community-based programs and services. The team decided a dedicated space was needed in the cardiology ward to display this information. 

Community health education and screening days can save lives
Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool Hospital’s community-based Budyari Screening Day proved successful with one attendee recognising the early signs of a heart attack weeks later and calling 000. 

Increasing access to heart health information using heart health posters
Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool Hospital’s community-based Budyari Screening Day proved successful with one attendee recognising the early signs of a heart attack weeks later and calling 000. 

Staff lanyard cards improve Aboriginal interpreting service referrals 
Royal Darwin Hospital
An audit of Royal Darwin Hospital Coronary Care Unit Aboriginal interpreting service referrals revealed low referral rates. Staff information lanyards cards were successfully piloted leading to an increase in referrals.

Making patients feel welcome at Royal Darwin Hospital 
Royal Darwin Hospital
Royal Darwin Hospital trialled the distribution of welcome bags to address the issue of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients being transferred to the hospital without  basic personal items. 

Increasing connection to country for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and staff
Broome Regional Health Campus
To increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients’ connection to country, the Broome Regional Health Campus Lighthouse Hospital Project developed a cultural garden.