Closing the Miscommunication Gap

A User Guide to Developing Picture-based Communication Tools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Emergency Department Settings​

Closing the Miscommunication Gap

A User Guide to Developing Picture-based Communication Tools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Emergency Department Settings

Karabena Consulting has again partnered with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) to produce this report on developing and trialling pictorial guides to assist with culturally safe communication between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and clinicians in hospital emergency departments (EDs).
Our 2020 report with ACEM, Traumatology Talks – Black Wounds, White Stitches, noted several incidents of miscommunication experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients when engaging with ED staff. These included issues of language use (including Aboriginal English) and diversity of dialects that make it difficult for staff and patients to communicate with each other. Research has shown that pictorial guides, such as cartoon illustrations, are an effective strategy in conveying information and that they significantly improve patient comprehension and compliance with ED discharge instructions.
In Closing the Miscommunication Gap, we document our methodology and learnings in developing cartoon illustrations for use in an urban ED in Victoria. We hope it will serve as a guide for others wanting to develop pictorial techniques to increase culturally safe communication with First Nations people in hospitals, thus enhancing their patient journey.

Closing the Miscommunication Gap

A User Guide to Developing Picture-based Communication Tools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Emergency Department Settings

Karabena Consulting has again partnered with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) to produce this report on developing and trialling pictorial guides to assist with culturally safe communication between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and clinicians in hospital emergency departments (EDs).

Our 2020 report with ACEM, Traumatology Talks – Black Wounds, White Stitches, noted several incidents of miscommunication experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients when engaging with ED staff. These included issues of language use (including Aboriginal English) and diversity of dialects that make it difficult for staff and patients to communicate with each other. Research has shown that pictorial guides, such as cartoon illustrations, are an effective strategy in conveying information and that they significantly improve patient comprehension and compliance with ED discharge instructions.

In Closing the Miscommunication Gap, we document our methodology and learnings in developing cartoon illustrations for use in an urban ED in Victoria. We hope it will serve as a guide for others wanting to develop pictorial techniques to increase culturally safe communication with First Nations people in hospitals, thus enhancing their patient journey.