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Changing the way we engage

A free online toolkit has been developed by the University of Queensland to help staff improve their engagement with consumers. 

A new toolkit supports providers in facilitating effective engagement (Source: Shutterstock)
A new toolkit supports providers in facilitating effective engagement (Source: Shutterstock)

Project leader Dr Andrea Petriwskyj says consumers have an important role in the planning, delivery and evaluation of aged care services, as well as in the direction and evaluation of their own care, but feels ways we have traditionally involved consumers are no longer enough.

“Service providers already do a lot to support and facilitate effective engagement, including specifically designed activities and projects,” she says. “However, these projects are often quite ad hoc and tend to be poorly documented and conducted without clear guidelines or support.”

She says this leads to duplication and to missed opportunities for learning and service development within organisations and across the sector.

“It is important that service providers support innovation and new ideas about the way they engage. They need to encourage all their staff to be proactive in seeking new ways to connect with consumers,” says Dr Petriwskyj. “Having clear guidelines and tools can help service providers and staff to achieve this in the constantly changing service environment.”

The Client Engagement Toolkit takes staff through the process of thinking about what engagement looks like for them, then helps the organisation decide what is working well and what needs to be improved or where there is an opportunity for innovation.

Dr Petriwskyi also highlights the toolkit will not only help staff plan and implement actions to address issues in their service, it will also help them to document what they are doing to address these problems.

“This can help with quality review and accreditation, to show what staff are doing to involve consumers in service development and continuous improvement, and also to help services – and different service providers – learn from each other,” she concludes.

To download your copy, visit the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work website.

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