What system participants know about access and service entry and why managers should listen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective; The present study looked at the views of people directly involved in the entry process for community health counselling using the frame of the health access literature. The concurrence of system participants’ views with the access
literature highlights access issues, particularly for people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged. The paper privileges the voices of the system participants, inviting local health services to consider using participatory design to improve access at the entry point.
Methods: People involved in the entry process for community health counselling explored the question, ‘What, for you, are the features of a good intake system?’ They also commented on themes identified during pilot interviews. These were thematically analysed for each participant group by the researcher to develop a voice for each stakeholder group.
Results: People accessing the service could be vulnerable and the entry process failed to take that into account. People directly involved in the counselling service entry system, system participants, consisted of: professionals referring in, people seeking services and reception staff taking first enquiries. They shared substantially the same concerns as each other. The responses from these system participants are consistent with the international literature on access and entry into health services.
Conclusion: Participatory service design could improve primary healthcare service entry at the local level. Canvassing the experiences of system participants is important for delivering services to those who have the least access and, in that way, could contribute to health equity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume41
Issue number4
Early online dateAug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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