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Process 1  

Aboriginal patient experience of hospital care


Key component

Training for the Aboriginal Quality Improvement (AQI) role.


Questions to consider for this process step

(a)What is the Aboriginal quality improvement role?

(b) Is it a new position, how does it vary from an Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer (AHLO) role?

(c) What CQI training is available, who should go and what qualifications/skills are required to undertake the training?



The AQI role provides 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. The AQI role is not intended to be a new position but would be undertaken by existing Aboriginal staff. The training program developed by the ICHP 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 people’s experience of hospital services. The two broad categories of hospital experience are attitudinal (eg. staff felt that children should not be taken out of school for prolonged periods to visit sick relatives in hospital) and operational (eg. staff not able to chase up missed outpatient appointments because it is not their role). The training aims to equip Aboriginal staff with the language to enable them to direct the health services Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) to make the distinction and connections between experiences of the two kinds.



Aboriginal people have been employed by hospitals as Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers (AHLO) for many years and continue to play an important role in servicing the Aboriginal community. Many AHLO’s have been quite isolated within the hospital that they are employed and have had to take the responsibility for all things ‘Aboriginal’. This process step has a support component embedded as well as training to ensure Aboriginal staff can bring community and patient issues to the quality improvement committee.


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