According to a recent University of Minnesota study, only 50% of the information provided by health care providers is retained by patients, with half of that information recalled incorrectly. So why might this breakdown in communication exist? Well, it could be inconsistent patient education. When considering implementation of a formal patient education program, here are a few thoughts to consider:
1. Do your patients fully understand their conditions and prescribed treatment options? The better you can educate a patient, the more they will trust you and make the best decisions regarding their medical care. Simply, better educated patients make better decisions therefore ensuring that your existing patient-base keeps coming back for follow-up visits.
2. Is your patient education messaging consistent across all staff levels? Streamlining your patient education program ensures that the same information is received no matter who patients speak to in your practice. This makes educating patients the responsibility of your entire staff, therefore saving you valuable time in the exam room.
3. Does your website match your practice messaging? A recent Pew Internet Project report indicated that 80% of all Internet users look online for health information. The way that you are represented online should always be consistent with how you are represented during an office visit.
In summary, a dedicated patient education program can save you time and reinforce what your patients learn during the office visit. It can also help you attract more patients, improve retention, and make your practice more efficient.
But don’t just take our word for it! Find out why patient education is key to dry eye disease compliance specifically in the May issue of Ophthalmology Times. Dr. Marguerite B. McDonald discusses how she implemented a patient education program into her practice, Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, and as a result, increased patient compliance and understanding.