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How to Identify Patients and Carers

It is important that clinical redesign projects clearly define the target population according to the journey being redesigned.  Ideally, the target group should have experienced a relevant journey recently (preferably within one month).

Examples of target groups for specific Redesign Program projects are detailed below

Patient Flow

Interview patients who met the following criteria at X Hospital within the previous 4 weeks:

  • Admitted via the Emergency Department
  • Transferred to an Inpatient ward
  • Stayed more than 24 hours.


Cardiology patients who, within the previous four weeks, were

  • Treated within the Emergency Department
  • Experienced booked cardiology treatment.

Community Mental Health

  • Clients who were visited at home by the X Community Mental Health team within the last 30 days. 


Strategies for Engaging Patients and Carers in Interviews

There are many strategies for inviting patients and carers to participate in an interview.  The following strategies take patient privacy matters into account.

For people in hospital

  • Visit patients in hospital with some information about the Clinical Services Redesign Program and invite the patient and carer to arrange a time to talk to you when they return home.
  • Include a check box on the Referral for Admission form - patients can advise whether or not they are willing to be contacted when they return home.
  • Gain the support of nurses who actually admit patients to hospital.  Ask for their help for, say, one week.  Ask them to briefly explain the Clinical Redesign Project and encourage participation from every person admitted for that week.  The nurse can note this on the Referral for Admission Form.
  • Give an "invitation to participate" to every patient and their carer for a specific period of time.  Follow up by phone.

For people who receive health care services in the Community

  • Select a random sample of clients and send an invitation letter asking if they (and their carer) would be willing to be interviewed.  Follow up by phone.
  • Ask Community Health workers to talk to every client they visit for a period of one week and provide you with the names of people who agree to take part.
  • Contact the local support group and ask if you can attend a meeting to tell people about the project and invite individuals to take part in interviews.

Special advice regarding people with mental illness

  • Once you have a list of prospective people to interview, it can be helpful to ask a mental health clinician from the service to look at the list and advise whether:
  1. there are any risks for the patient
  2. there is any other advice to be considered before contacting the individuals on the list.
  • Participation of the carer, if appropriate, can be very helpful too.

Engaging people known to the target group (such as Community and Support Workers) can also be helpful in facilitating access to individuals who may otherwise be difficult to speak with.

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