Patient Education for Better Compliance and Treatment Outcomes.
We believe that patient education is a powerful tool to improve patient engagement and ultimately improve treatment outcomes. Why? Awareness of conditions, treatment options, as well as the necessity of treatment will motivate patients to adhere to their care plan and prevent drop outs. But how much do patients really remember when they leave your office?
The article “Patients’ Memory for Medical Information” by Roy PC Kessels, PhD, reviews various studies on patients’ obstacles to remember critical information and the results are eye-opening. According to a study, by McGuire MC, patients forget 40 – 80% of the information given when they walk out your door. Besides that, almost half of the information was not remembered correctly. Patients recall even less when they are in a stressful situation such as receiving a diagnosis in a doctor’s office. In this situation, the central message (i.e. the diagnosis) will become the primary subject of attention and thus limit the recall of information regarding treatment options or follow-up appointments.
On the good side, other studies suggest that written information will be recalled better than verbal instructions alone which can lead to better treatment adherence. Furthermore, the usage of pictures can increase the recall of medical information from 14% (verbal instructions only) to 80% (verbal instructions combined with pictographs).
What does that mean for you and your patients?
- Pictures are more powerful than words: showing your patient an image or video of their condition while you explain it will send a powerful message to the brain stimulating their visual AND auditory senses.
- Providing your patients with specific information and advice is often perceived as more important and can thus improve patient engagement.
- Providing patients with something they can take home or receive electronically will make it easier for them to revisit what they’ve learned from you or to share it with family members.
- Making patient education a priority in your practice or clinic will not only help your patients gain a better understanding of their condition, it might also improve care plan adherence.
- When providing patients with information, try to find a reliable evidence-based resource that is professionally done and can represent you and your practice or clinic.
How can you use WebExercises for better patient education and engagement?
As described above, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” seems to be particularly true in the healthcare world. But is a picture good enough when providing complex explanations? We believe that it’s a first step into the right direction. However, we also believe that your patients deserve great, not just ‘good enough’ care. That’s why WebExercises complements pictures and detailed written instructions with videos showing the patients exactly what they should do. We also just launched our 3D patient education video series. These short, animated videos will provide the patient with detailed information on their specific condition, the involved structures as well as common signs and symptoms. You can share the 3D videos as part of your home exercise program. Here one example, you can find all other videos in your provider portal:
WebExercises – Start Making A Difference
The WebExercises Story: Created by Clinicians for Clinicians
We understand the challenges that clinicians face on a daily basis: lack of patient engagement, high drop-out rates, time-crunched clinicians. We developed a solution for you and your patients that provides you with great clinical education, efficient and evidence-based exercise programming, and an engaging patient experience . To find out more how WebExercises can improve your practice call us 866-411-4825 or visit webexercises.com.
Roy Kessels, PhD: journal of the royal society of medicine 219 – 221
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Houts PS, Witmer JT, Egeth HE, Loscalzo MJ, Zabora JR. Using pictographs to enhance recall of spoken medical instructions II. Patient Educ Couns 2001;43:231–42
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