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Top 5 Strategies for Improving Patient Education

February 9, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team

As we move along the evolved culture of patient-centric caregiving in the healthcare sector, never before has the patient been as empowered as now. As essential as the process of providing care is the value being seen in a well-informed patient that accepts and works toward their welfare and quality of life. When patients lack important information, their choices and decisions can go against physician advice and cause a deterioration in health. The more information a patient has, the more likely that the patient will manifest willing lifestyle changes and comply with physician advice. This process of empowering the patient, through structured, customized, and methodical information sharing, is called Patient Education.

Patient education must be comprehensive and easily understood. The healthcare professional should focus on the patients who are lacking the ability to understand the health care information and what they need to do with that information.

In this blog, we have mentioned some strategies and tips to improve patient education, continue reading to know more.

Providing the patient with information about their disease ensures that the patient comprehends the physician's instructions and the need for any lifestyle changes.

Top 5 Strategies for Improving Patient Education

  • Use Different Teaching Methods

    Different patients have different learning methods, so it's helpful to use a variety of teaching methods when educating your patients. While verbally explaining a procedure or condition might work well for one patient, another patient might learn better by reading a pamphlet or watching a video. Identify which method works best for each patient.

  • Involve Family

    If your patient has any close family members, include them in the patient education process. Family members are often responsible for helping with a patient's care, so they must understand the procedure or condition. Family members can also provide a support system for patients.

  • Utilize Technology

    The technology of the medical field is constantly advancing, so take advantage of it in your patient education processes. Make patient education resources readily available online and deliver further individualized patient resources or information virtually.

  • Stimulate the Patient's Interest

    Patients must understand why this is important. Establish rapport, ask and answer questions, and consider specific patient concerns. Some patients may want detailed information about every aspect of their health condition while others may want just the facts, and do better with a simple checklist.

  • Consider the Patient's Limitations and Strengths

    Does the patient have physical, mental, or emotional impairments that impact the ability to learn? Some patients may need large print materials and if the patient is hearing impaired, use visual materials and hands-on methods instead of simply providing verbal instruction. Always have patients explain what you taught them. Often people will nod "yes" or say that they comprehend what is taught even if they have not heard or understood. Consider factors such as fatigue and the shock of learning a critical diagnosis when educating patients.

Some other Tips that can help you to Improve Patient Education

  • Begin educating patients with every encounter from admission.
  • Delegate more responsibilities to support staff and be more focused on patient education.
  • Find out what the patient already knows. Correct any misinformation.
  • Feed patients information in layman's terms. Utilize visual aids as often as possible.
  • Question their understanding of the care, and plan for the next lesson.
  • Use return demonstration when administering care. Involve the patient from the very first treatment.
  • Ask the patient to tell you how they would explain (step-by-step) their disease or treatment to their loved one.
  • Make sure the patient understands the medications as you administer them. Make sure they understand how and when to refill medications.
  • Provide patients with information about signs and symptoms of their condition that will require immediate attention.

Follow these tips and strategies, and your practice will be able to properly communicate with and care for all its patients. But on the other side, you should continue to value the quality of care you deliver.

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