Why Patient Education is the “Next Big Thing”
If patient education were medicine you would want to prescribe it. Why? It can help you to increase treatment outcomes as well as your bottom line – no negative side effects included. But most importantly it will empower and engage your patients.
Just think about a situation that requires behavior change of any kind, like educating your kids to shut off the lights, or to separate the garbage for recycling. Do you think it’s powerful enough to just tell them what you want them to do, or could it be more effective to make them understand the reasoning behind your request, such as: explaining to them that they can contribute to preserve our nature when doing what they supposed to be doing? I’ll bet you: the more you explain the WHY, the faster the intended behavior change will take place.
It is the same with patients: if they understand the consequences of the tasks you give them, such as doing certain exercises, they will be more likely to do them. Painting a vivid picture of the positive changes they can expect and providing them with information about the causes of their condition and how your treatment plan will help to reduce or even reverse them, will make them more motivated to stick to your care.
We also know from several studies that self-efficacy, i.e. the belief in one’s own capabilities to succeed, for example an exercise program, can positively influence motivation and thus treatment outcomes. Providing the patient with easy-to-understand information will increase his or her confidence in being part of his or her healing process.
Here some tips to make patient education an easy yet effective part of your care:
• Pictures are more powerful than words: showing them an image of their condition while you explain it will send a powerful message to the brain because it will address their visual AND auditory senses.
• Providing them 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.
• Try to find a reliable evidence based resource that is professionally done and can represent you and your practice or clinic.
• Condition based handouts or articles on injury prevention could serve as great materials for the waiting room and might help increase the awareness for your service portfolio.
As providing additional education will also increase the perceived value of your care, it might increase patient retention and differentiate you from your competition.
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WebExercises was created by clinicians who wanted to find a better way to help patients succeed with their exercise rehabilitation programs. As clinicians we are limited with time therefore WebExercises was developed to efficiently design exercise programs. We offer an engaging patient experience that can be monitored virtually by the clinician keeping your patients motivated outside of your office. Since 2005 we have delivered over 20 million exercises saving clinicians time and improving patient adherence. To find out more how WebExercises can improve your practice call us 866-411-4825 or visit webexercises.com/join
*Find more educational resources in your WebExercises provider portal.