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...

Communication is Key to Quality Healthcare

Healthcare pamphlets are not a thing of the past. Regardless of advancements such as the internet, email, and pdf downloads, there is still a place for print. In fact, it often times is a crucial tool for communicating with your patients. For many, a visit to the doctor’s office can be an overwhelming time. Despite the best intentions, not all questions may be answered, and other important details may be misunderstood. This is especially true if there is a condition or diagnosis. Rather than expecting patients to recollect every detail they heard during their office visit, a brochure will provide them with information they can read at a time they are most likely able to retain it. Providing your patients with these brochures also guarantees they are reading the correct information pertaining to them specifically. While the internet is a great asset, regarding medical care, it can be misleading. The instances of people self- or over-diagnosing are incredibly high, and often unnecessary. By providing this information to your patients first hand, you can not only provide pertinent information, but you can offer them piece of mind knowing all of the information you are sharing is credible, and filled with information specific to them. Healthcare brochures also provide an excellent means for communication with non-English speaking patients. Unfortunately, many things can get lost in translation over the internet; therefore, these brochures provide peace of mind to not only you the provider, but to your patients as well. It is always beneficial to have a back-up plan if you are unable to employ a full-time translator. You can save valuable time...
Patient Engagement is Unobtainable Without Health Literacy

Patient Engagement is Unobtainable Without Health Literacy

The current healthcare model places an increased demand on the patient being an active participant in his or her own health.  Patients with low health literacy levels face an increased risk of not being engaged with their health, affecting the quality of care being delivered.  Healthcare providers struggle with delivering materials for patients who come from diverse backgrounds, however, the blame goes beyond the various intellectual differences among patients.  Physicians are routinely overworked, making them unable to spend the necessary time required with each patient to ensure they have a thorough understanding before they leave.  For a patient to be an active participant in their health, the issue of health literacy must be addressed. Patients with low levels of health literacy do not have the ability to make decisions regarding their health.  This is due to their lack of familiarity with medical conditions, combined with their unwillingness to ask questions during medical visits and lack of familiarity with the medical context of provided materials.  To combat this, materials should be written in an organized manner using a simple language that follows the reader’s logic.  The readability level should be at a six-grade level or lower to help eliminate vocabulary that is unfamiliar to the recipients.  Careful consideration must also be taken when translating the materials to a different language to make sure the translation is adapted to target audience’s literacy level. Depending on the technological skills of the audience, video has been shown as an effective tool in combating health literacy issues and increasing patient engagement.  Videos typically have a broader comprehension range and are best for engaging patients who...
Health Education Materials – What You Need To Know

Health Education Materials – What You Need To Know

When in the market for health education materials, you have a wide-range of options.  The numerous vendors and formats available can make the selection process seem like a daunting task.  Even with so many available options, it can be difficult to find materials that are accurate, up-to-date and cost-effective.  A thorough analysis of your target audience is also required to assess their learning and literacy needs.  This will help you to determine the appropriate medium to provide the materials. To be cost-effective, many organizations turn to materials provided at no charge from government agencies, national associations and pharmaceutical companies.  The concern with these materials is sometimes, you get what you pay for.  Many of the materials provided by pharmaceutical companies are simply advertisements for their products.  It is best to choose information from unbiased organizations that are not promoting their own agenda.  If you do choose materials from any of these organizations, it is important that you explain the source to every patient you give it to.  This allows them to make their own decisions regarding the information you provide. Some organizations choose to create their own materials as a low cost way to address a specific need.  Although a popular option, creating your own materials is not as cost-effective as it initially seems.  Once you factor in the time and money to obtain information to reprint, developing the document and printing costs this options is surprisingly expensive. Providing web-based information to patients is a trend that has been growing in popularity, but the risks associated with this option have become an increased concern.  Using information printed from the Internet is...
Patient Engagement Begins with Education

Patient Engagement Begins with Education

If a patient does not have a solid understanding, they cannot be engaged.  Patient engagement must begin with education.  When attempting to educate a patient, many factors will come into play.  The level of health literacy, the learning style of the patient, the ability of the physician to explain and the quality of patient education handouts are all factors in how thorough of an understanding the patient will have when they leave. Health literacy is an issue that spans across all demographics and intelligence levels.  It is the ability to read and understand information about your health and make decisions about it.  Health literacy is critical in patient engagement and motivating them to practice self-management of chronic diseases, medication adherence and care transition.  Because of time constraints, it is common for physicians to provide printed handouts to patients in lieu of offering an extensive explanation.  This leaves a substantial amount of patients without a conclusive understanding of their responsibility to manage their health. People have different learning styles.  Some individuals learn best when being spoken to, others will need to be shown and some just have to do it themselves.   Educating patients with their preferred learning style helps ensure their engagement and understanding of the material.  A physician who struggles with communicating information in terms the patient can understand can even turn off patients with auditory learning styles.  Providing materials for the patient to take home is crucial in ensuring they have a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities. Many patients will nod in assurance they understand, but leave without any knowledge of even a simple required task such as when to take their...