Trial 6

Improving hospital collaboration

Trial 6

Can a persuasive video improve collaboration between regional and metropolitan doctors during non-critical inter-hospital transfer requests?

In many areas of Victoria (and Australia), specialised clinical care for patients with complex health issues is not available in smaller or regional hospitals; many of which are not designed to cater for all conditions, nor have specialised equipment available.

Inter-hospital transfers therefore play an important part in the healthcare system, ensuring that patients can access the care they need.

But for non-urgent transfers, there can be delays in securing a bed at the receiving hospital.

To improve inter-hospital transfer processes, this trial focused on fostering an empathetic and collaborative mindset among clinicians who receive non-critical patient transfer requests, typically from regional or rural hospitals.

What did the literature tell us?

The first phase of this trial involved a Facilitated Dialogue with key stakeholders.

To ensure that participants had a good understanding of the issue – and what others around the world had done to address it – they were briefed with the results of a Rapid Evidence and Practice review (below). 

Briefing doc PDF

What's likely to fix the problem?

From the Facilitated Forum Dialogue, participants drew the following conclusions on how to improve decisions around transferring patients from regional or rural hospitals.

Dialogue summary PDF

What did we do?

We tested the effectiveness and acceptability of a video that reminded clinicians who commonly receive transfer requests from a ‘sending’ hospital that clinical staff in other hospitals and areas across the health system share the same goals – they all want to help their patients get better.

We compared outcomes before and after exposure to the video in 21 Emergency Department clinicians within Victorian public hospitals, using audio vignettes to simulate transfer request phone calls from smaller ‘sending’ hospitals for non-critical patients.

Protocol here

What did we find?

The persuasive video showed potential for increasing the efficiency of non-critical transfer requests from a sending hospital.

After viewing the video, Emergency Department clinicians reported a stronger intention to accept a non-critical patient from a sending hospital. Clinicians also perceived the medical case as more severe and urgent and were more accepting of the calling doctor’s claims about their lack of capability or resources to treat the patient.

Emergency Department clinicians’ feedback about the video was largely positive.

Media and other information

Full trial infographic PDF