It is now universally acknowledged that Australia needs to do much more to improve the health of Aboriginal people and, by doing so, to close the unacceptable life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Aboriginal patients from remote areas have special needs when interacting with health systems, and these needs must be met for safe care practices and optimal health outcomes to be achieved. A growing body of evidence suggests that relatively small modifi cations to existing systems and practices can lead to substantial improvements in health outcomes for these Aboriginal people.

This quality improvement, action research project aimed to establish if Aboriginal people living in remote areas who need to travel to a major metropolitan hospital for life-saving cardiac surgery benefi t from improved arrangements around their journey to and from the hospital.