Isolation after a COVID-19 test is critical to minimise the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. The current outbreak of the Delta variant, with higher rates of transmission and severe illness, reinforces the importance of anyone infectious isolating correctly to help stop the spread.
The NSW Ministry of Health, Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health Pathology and SydPath collaborated with the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit to trial a new communication method aimed at increasing compliance with isolation guidelines. Using the latest behavioural science, the trial used teach-back - asking patients to repeat back isolation instructions provided - and a new flyer with easy-to-follow instructions and practical tips, to inform patients on how to isolate properly. This new communication method was effective, leading to a 29 per cent decrease in the number of people breaking self-isolation rules.
Based on these findings, NSW Health has redesigned the instructions provided to patients at COVID-19 clinics and incorporated the teach-back instructions as part of the testing process.
NSW Health have also developed new training resources for all clinic staff across NSW, including the training video below, produced by the Health Education and Training Institute. This is just one example of how the NSW Government is using evidence-based data, along with customer feedback, to improve front-line services throughout the pandemic.