Enhancing Transfer of Care from Hospital to Primary Care for Aboriginal Australians with Chronic Disease

CPD Hours: 1.5
Current as at 23 February 2022
Poor service coordination or communication among health professionals can result in fragmentation of care, and discontinuities in communication and documentation resulting from multiple handovers across the transfer of care providers involved in transitions of care, increases the risk of medical errors and compromises patient safety.

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“Understand the issues surrounding the transfer of care from hospital to home for Aboriginal people”

Course Content

Poor service coordination or communication among health professionals can result in fragmentation of care, and discontinuities in communication and documentation resulting from multiple handovers across the transfer of care providers involved in transitions of care increase the risk of medical errors and compromises patient safety.

This risk is greatest at the time of hospital discharge when poor, delayed or absent transfer of information may result in adverse patient outcomes. This has been demonstrated in the Northern Territory (NT) where poor communication led to the death of an elderly Aboriginal man who was flown home from the hospital and left on the airstrip in his remote community. The breakdown in communication with the remote health centre meant that no one collected him from the airstrip and he was subsequently found dead.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/aboriginal-elder-died-alone-thirsty-20071115-gdrliq.html

The journey of many  Australian  Aboriginal and  Torres  Strait  Islander people from a  remote community to an acute hospital and back home is fraught with difficulties.  Making this journey feasible almost invariably falls to Aboriginal   Health  Workers  (AHWs),  Aboriginal   Hospital  Liaison  Officers, Interpreters,  Remote  Area  Nurses,  Aged  Care  Workers,  District  Medical Officers,   or individual health professionals with an understanding and sensitivity to the issues, and a willingness to act on this knowledge.

Even for those staff for whom this work is the focus of their roles such as AHWs and Liaison  Officers and designated nurses,  many of the intercultural tasks they take on are in addition to their everyday duties and require skilful interprofessional action.
A culturally competent workforce is recognised as a priority reform area in Closing the Gap in Indigenous life outcomes (COAG, 2010).

The development of organisational, systemic and individual cultural competence is essential to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people using a health service are treated in a respectful and safe manner that secures their trust in the capacity of the service to meet their needs.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Understand the issues surrounding the transfer of care from hospital to home for Aboriginal people
  • Discuss what is required to improve the service for Aboriginal patients
  • Consider what constitutes cultural competency
  • Learn how equitable healthcare is achieved
The Nursing CPD Institute

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