Clinicians and consumer involvement


As a clinician, consumer involvement can improve the quality of your health information and the health outcomes for people using your health service. Consumer engagement has also been shown to improve quality and safety, and therefore increase both consumer and community confidence in the services.

People affected by cancer view the health service through a different lens. Their feedback and suggestions are often surprising and can lead to major improvements in the quality and safety of health services.

Working with consumers can improve your health service, and be built around your existing processes for long‑term efficiencies:

  • Talking with patients and families about what is important to them can be built into many of your routine episodes of care.
  • Improvements that come from consumer involvement make your health service more efficient and effective.
  • Many aspects of consumer involvement are fairly self-sustaining once initiated.

Also, your organisation may be able to provide administrative and logistical support to streamline consumer involvement processes.

How you can involve consumers

There are a huge range of ways consumers can be involved in your work. It may begin with consumers giving feedback on surveys about your services and participating in focus groups. This could move on to serving on the quality and safety committee at your hospital or on the selection panels for staff hiring. Consumers have been involved in aspects of cancer care such as:

  • redesigning waiting areas
  • reviewing architectural plans for new wards
  • peer support for other consumers after cancer diagnosis
  • developing or improving patient-centred approaches
  • providing input into day surgery process
  • clinical reviews for the prevention of adverse events
  • quality improvement projects
  • discharge from ward process.

To get started, ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do I want to change in my health service?
  • What do I want to know from my patients?

Then, identify the type of consumers who will have this information and can provide it to you. You’ll also need to consider appropriate strategies for involving these consumers in your service based on your organisation’s functions and processes.

Also see About consumer involvement and Getting started.