Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Aboriginal Health is implementing an Indigenous Cultural Safety initiative with two units at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) to improve the experience of Aboriginal patients and clients at VGH. The units, which include 350 VGH staff members, will complete a number of activities during March 2018 – March 2019.
This project will examine the implementation of the cultural safety initiative through a research team guided by two-eyed seeing, Indigenous cultural principles and implementation science frameworks for the purpose of guiding future spread of cultural safety training across diverse health authority settings.
The learnings from this pilot project will be used to spread the approach to other VGH departments and ultimately other hospital sites and facilities across BC. A number of hospital-wide and unit-specific activities will be piloted, falling into four streams:
- Creating a welcome space: Visible acknowledgements of local First Nations (artwork, signage, booth displays etc).
- Culturally competent VGH staff: Three hours Indigenous Cultural Safety training, 30 minute education sessions, monthly presentations by local chiefs, staff learning resources, webinars, and creation of advocacy roles.
- Cultural resources and policies: Communications, patient cultural safety/support, and traditions and protocols booklets.
- Access to cultural supports: Elders and Aboriginal patient navigators.
The indicators of success will be jointly developed in partnership with an Aboriginal advisory group to be convened at the conception of the study. It is key that the indicators of successful transformation reflect the needs of the Aboriginal patients served by the system. This will include indicators such as staff and patients reporting an observed change in the look and feel of VGH, improvement in cultural safety knowledge and understanding among VGH pilot unit staff level, staff perceptions of how practice will change as a result of attending training and education sessions, and staff perceptions of their ability to advocate for Aboriginal patient issues (allyship).