Promote Patient Compliance with the Pregnancy Tracker

Preventative care is essential during pregnancy. It is during these appointments that both the mother and baby’s health are monitored, and any potential problems can be discovered early. With that being said, it is still often difficult to stress the importance of continuous care all throughout the pregnancy to patients and their families. Providing a printed pregnancy tracker helps your patients see the long-term plan and goals for their pregnancies, as well as helps to promote compliance. Trackers help to monitor progression and tests, such as vitals, growth, etc. They allow patients to see the significance of each visit by clearly stating what testing they can expect at specific appointments, as well as any necessary procedures. This visual reminder reinforces the importance of preventative care visits and therefore reduces the amount of skipped or missed appointments. Using only online resources for your patients typically proves to be more trouble than it is worth. Reliability is and always will be a major concern when depending on any type of content that is not your own. You must spend an elaborate amount of time determining credibility and fact checking. It is also very easy for patients to get off topic and start looking into other areas not specifically pertaining to them. With the pregnancy tracker, your patients are able to have their pregnancy information in one clear and concise location. They can easily reference their vitals as well as test explanations. Many trackers on the market today can be overwhelming and lose a patient’s interest. Let’s face it, with all of the information that is being thrown around online, on the...
Health Education Reading Level Mandates: Helpful or Harmful?

Health Education Reading Level Mandates: Helpful or Harmful?

  Using readability scores appears simple: The lower the reading level, the easier the text is to understand, right? Let’s test this idea. Which of the following messages about smoke-free pregnancy is easier to understand? Pregnant women who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have miscarriages, stillbirths, early labor, and premature babies. Gravid females who smoke are more apt than ones who do not to lose the fetus. And more apt to have a fetus with no life. And more apt to have early labor and not full-grown foeti. The text on the left has a grade level of 12. The text on the right has a grade level of 3—even though it is difficult to comprehend. How can this be? Readability tests such as the Flesch-Kincaid, Dale Chall, and Flesh Reading Ease base their scores on mathematical formulas. The formulas consider things like word and sentence length to give a theoretical comprehension level. The formulas fail to consider complex aspects of a language such as: Whether a word is common or rare—for example: likely vs. apt. Whether a word has Latinate or Anglo-Saxon origins (Anglo-saxon words often are easier to comprehend). For example: fetus vs. baby. Despite their flaws, readability tests have some value in making health education materials accessible to all. However, because of their flaws, they should be used to guide educators in choosing materials—and not to mandate that educators use material at the lowest conceivable level. Unfortunately, institutional mandates are in place in many parts of the health education field, both governmental and in the private sector. Mandates may be more harmful than helpful....