Clinician communications and engagement

Every day, clinicians must not only fulfill their roles in supporting the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders, but also stay up-to-date with the information that helps them to do so. Understanding how and when clinicians are able to best engage with communications helps us to support the healthcare providers who support us. In this project we aimed to better understand how clinicians engage with communications and how individual preferences for channel, frequency, and message characteristics may differ. Specifically, this project sought to:

  • (a) Identify and profile clinician engagement personas (include their ‘information vs inspiration’ balance)
  • (b) Ideate solutions for enhancing clinician information engagement behaviours for each persona.
  • (c) Identify and explore potential future scenarios for a clinical communication system.

Why is this important?

This project recognises the evolution of digital disruption within the healthcare sector that has been rapidly accelerating due to the pandemic, and the urgent need to modernise communications to align with the modernisation of healthcare delivery. Evidence on how we can best support clinicians also helps to support the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.

What we did

This project utilised a rapid review of the literature, targeted co-design workshops and a behavioural economics survey to provide insight into barriers, motivators and behavioural preferences for engaging with communications in a clinical setting. These three research activities were all clinician-centric and allowed for triangulation of data and generation of rich insights.

What we found

This project resulted in several key findings, including:

  • Four personas emerged from the data based on customer value theory: Efficient Emu, Social Squirrel, Chilled Cockatoo and Selfless Silkworm. These personas each require different ways to engage optimally with communications. When addressing each of the personas, it is helpful to ask “How might we…” Engage more efficiently (Efficient Emu); Make engagement a source of fun and connection (Social Squirrel); Make engaging stress-free (Chilled Cockatoo); Engage to do good (Selfless Silkworm).
  • Clinicians currently tend to recall and focus on more ‘local comms’, as well as being more likely to share these comms, which may be due to the enhanced relevance at this level.
  • Scores for convenience and engagement with communications were around the midpoint, with clinicians varying on how engaged they felt and how convenient it was to engage.
  • When comparing current and ideal customer journeys for each persona, the start and end of each day were identified as key opportunities for improvement across all four personas.
  • Three motivators (relevant, informative, specific to my HHS/region) and three barriers (irrelevant, too much, time poor) emerged to guide communication engagement design.
  • Design principles indicate that communications should be easy and intuitive first, then focus on persona-relevant value, and finally be delivered at appropriate times and offer a way to connect with peers or offer two-way communication opportunities.
  • Clinicians prefer a mix of digital and F2F options, as well as communications that provide interactive, passive and proactive engagement support. Communications also need to match clinicians varied schedules and work lives, being available in a variety of formats.
  • The most frequently selected ideas for change included a personalized dashboard and a mechanism to sort emails. The top-selected ideas tended to offer function, timeliness, and tailoring.

For more information about this project please email

Chief Investigators


Other Team Members

Associate Investigators
  • Ms Katie May (Clinical Excellence Queensland)
  • Dr Satyan Chari (Clinical Excellence Queensland)
Research Assistants
  • Zoe Engeman (QUT Research Assistant)



Funded by:

Bridge Labs Program, Clinical Excellence Queensland




Clinician Communication and Engagement Presentation | August 2023