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Disseminating the brochure
Following are some ideas about how your healthcare service can effectively incorporate the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria brochure into its broader communications, and disseminate it to patients, consumers and the community.
The brochure should be used as part of a broader consumer information policy that provides patients and consumers with access to high quality and timely information about their health care and treatment options. Some healthcare services already have their own rights and responsibilities materials available to patients and consumers. It is up to healthcare services to decide how they will build the brochure into their own systems, policies and procedures; this website provides ideas for doing so. Whatever form this takes, the brochure should also be integrated into all relevant consumer information material and publications.
A whole-of-organisation approach is needed to effectively build the brochure into your service’s communications, and disseminate them to patients, consumers and the community. For example, your service could:
It is important to engage all staff in supporting the brochure, and helping to realise the rights they promote. Ideas and resources about involving and training staff are available.
Appropriate dissemination of the brochure is essential to promote its key messages. Dissemination can be more than putting the brochure on a table in the waiting area. For example, your service could also:
Services should also identify the demographics of their local community (age, language and cultural groups, gender, ability and so on) to ensure materials are available in relevant community languages and formats (e.g. large print for older people, CD/tape, Braille). It is also helpful to provide copies to onsite interpreters, and to agency interpreters when they arrive.
Different kinds of healthcare services or departments within larger services such as hospitals will need to determine the most appropriate ways of disseminating materials, depending on the needs of their patients and consumers. For example, aged and mental health service users may have specific needs around communication. In aged care it might be the responsibility of the admitting nurse to provide the brochure, and to discuss it with each patient or consumer. It is also important to provide this information to families and carers.
When communicating to people whose preferred language is not English, it will be important to check their preferred language/interpreter requirements (and record these in their file), have the brochure available in the relevant language or format (check the literacy of patients or consumers, written language may not be accessible to them), and give the brochure to patients and consumers when an interpreter is available to assist with discussion about healthcare rights and what they might mean to the patient or consumer.
Healthcare services can choose to actively involve patients and consumers (for example through their community advisory committee) in developing ways to disseminate the brochure to patients, consumers and in the community.
Promoting the brochure effectively can include promotion outside the service, for example to community organisations who have contact with consumers. Understanding the demographics of your local community will help your service identify key community organisations through which to promote the Charter. As the brochure applies to and is for use by all publicly-funded healthcare services, it would be appropriate to work with other organisations to formulate an approach to promoting healthcare rights and the brochure across the service system.