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Process 1  

Aboriginal peoples’ experience of hospital care (facilitated by the AQI role[1])


1.    Establish an Executive (Senior manager) sponsor for Aboriginal health – See attached role outline

2.    Develop an AQI role – See attached sample PD

3.    AQI role, ALO and Supervisor(s) to attend Quality Improvement Workshop training.


Key component

Establish and train someone for the Aboriginal Quality Improvement (AQI) role.



The starting point is Aboriginal people’s experience of hospital care therefore the quality improvement process also begins here. We need to gather that knowledge and experience and one way to do that is to employ an Aboriginal person in an AQI role. It is strongly recommended that this role is undertaken by an Aboriginal person but with adequate support put in place. This process step is about how hospitals with an AQI role provide the communication link between the hospital and the Aboriginal community. This role assists the hospital in seeking feedback, both informal and formal, and links this information into the quality improvement processes of the hospital. This process step includes training for the AQI role to facilitate them taking a lead in developing a partnership with the Aboriginal community and to assist in guiding a quality improvement project.


1.    To effect change in Aboriginal health there is a need for clear and strong leadership to bring about the required organisational cultural change. An executive or senior manager sponsor must be identified and engaged for any quality improvement work in this area to ensure any changes that are necessary have the appropriate level of buy in and support for implementation.

2.    Aboriginal people have been employed by hospitals as Aboriginal Liaison Officers (ALO) for many years and continue to play an important role in servicing the Aboriginal community. Many ALO’s have been quite isolated within the hospital where they are employed and have had to take the responsibility for all things ‘Aboriginal’. This toolkit, in Process 4, includes a support component as well as training in this process step to ensure Aboriginal staff can bring community and patient issues to the quality improvement committee. The AQI role is not intended to be a new position but would preferably be undertaken by existing Aboriginal staff. If the AQI role is held by a non-Aboriginal person the ALO needs to play a greater role in the process.

3.    Hospitals will identify key Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff to undertake continuous quality improvement (CQI) training. The Aboriginal Quality Improvement Workshop training, developed and refined over several projects, will assist Aboriginal staff to view the work they currently undertake within a quality improvement framework and provide the language for them to engage with quality and safety staff. The training also covers the general question of how and what type of information is collected which captures Aboriginal peoples experience of hospital services.


Questions to consider for this step

  1. What is the AQI role? Is it a new position, how does it vary from an ALO role?
  2. What CQI training is available, who should go and what qualifications/skills are required to undertake the training?
  3. What and how will support for the AQI role be provided?

[1] In the development of the AQIFTHS (toolkit) we referred to an Aboriginal Continuous Quality Improvement (ACQI) role however in practice most hospital staff and committees have used the shortened version Aboriginal Quality Improvement role (AQI). Therefore the ACQI role will be referred to as the AQI role.

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