Patient education and counseling is the process of educating individuals about a disease, its procedures, and treatments in order to make informed decisions about their health. Patient Education not only educates patients about the diseases but also aims to improve health by encouraging compliance with medical treatment regimens and promoting healthy lifestyles altogether. It is also necessary to make patient education interactive so that the patient fully grasps the information provided to them by their healthcare practitioner.
As per the American Journal of Medicine, patient education significantly improves compliance with medication education for patients across a broad range of conditions and disease severities. Lack of compliance is associated with poor clinical outcomes, increased hospitalizations, lower quality of life, and higher overall health costs.
Nowadays, patient engagement companies are teaching patient education through different media. There are numerous materials present for promoting Patient Education such as:
- Brochures or other printed material
- High-Quality Animations
- Group classes
- PowerPoint presentations in many seminars
- Posters and charts
Why is Interactive Patient Education Important?
A patient’s misunderstanding of a condition and its care can result in non-compliance to a doctor’s recommendations or diagnosis which causes significant and adverse affected outcomes. The more clearly a disease is understood, the more likely it is that an individual will be comfortable with their care and adhere to necessary regimens. This is where interactive patient education comes in handy.
- The Impact of Patient Education – Dealing with any sort of disease is not easy. The more clearly a disease is understood, the more likely it is that an individual will adhere to necessary regimens. Adequate knowledge about what can be expected during a medical procedure is critical. Hence, interactive consultation about diseases increases patient engagement. Patient Engagement combines a patient’s knowledge, skills, ability, and willingness to manage his own health and care, resulting in positive patient behavior.
- Beneficial to Everyone – Interactive Patient Education attracts patients to the Healthcare service provider and increases patient engagement in healthcare. Beyond the clear value of patients’ education, it also provides massive advantages for healthcare service providers. Other benefits such as:
- An increase in compliance leads to a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare delivery system
- Interactive patient education promotes patient-centered care and increases adherence to medication and treatments
- Educating patients ensures continuity of care and reduces complications related to the illness
- Challenges faced by Healthcare Marketers – Healthcare marketers need to understand the fine line between how much information is necessary and when it becomes overloaded. Physicians and healthcare systems should work together to form a consensus for providing patient education materials in the most effective formats possible – so that patients understand the information, be comfortable with their care, and confidently use this knowledge to tackle their own conditions effectively.
How can Patient Education be made effective?
The Internet abounds with dubious sites providing “medical facts”. Doctors often complain that their patients bring sheets of printouts from the internet to explain their symptoms or support their self-diagnosis of health conditions. A simple headache can be made to seem like a symptom of a brain tumor, causing most uninformed readers anxiety and sleepless nights.
This is one of the main reasons why physicians and health providers practice patient education more often to provide the correct facts to their patients. Explaining complex medical terminology in a simple manner will ease their mind, prevent self-treatment, and avoid complications from wrongful diagnosis.
Here are some of the ways to impart patient education effectively:
- Use technology
Pamphlets, charts, and images only go so far as to help patients. Printed information is never retained with the patient and is likely to be filed away and never looked at again. Using technology, like creating a space for informative articles and videos on your patient portal or maybe using a more advanced way by consulting them via a cloud-based platform that acts as a bridge between a patient and their practitioner is a quicker and more effective possible way.
- Get rid of the jargon
The aim of providing information to patients is to simplify complex terminology and medical jargon. Therefore, one should use simple language and visual content such as 3D Anatomy, Procedures Videos, Surgery Videos, Visual Treatment Options to explain complicated health conditions, and their implications. It helps to be objective when discussing medical procedures by explaining the benefits and risks associated with them to allow patients to make an informed decision.
- Get feedback from patients
Feedback from patients will help you customize your health educational material. Interest in health concerns varies so it is important to check in with your patients occasionally to ensure that your efforts aren’t in vain. Online questionnaires and feedback forms can help you get your patients’ opinions.