Patient education is one of the essential parts of patient care. Educating patients on follow-up care, prevention, and teaching the importance of being proactive in their own healthcare should be the goal of every medical practitioner. Here are the top five strategies for educating patients effectively:
1. Demonstrate Interest and Establish Trust
Making patients feel cared for and heard will help them be more receptive to the education provided to them.
Invest your time in non-medical conversation, which put patients at ease and help them open up more. This can provide clues about your patient’s preferred style of learning.
2. Understand the Patient’s Learning Style
Teaching patients requires a lot of patience. Take time and understand how your patients would like to learn. This can improve patient outcomes in the long run.
Some patients know what kind of learner they are (visual, auditory, etc.) and might be able to tell you how they can learn best.
3. Use Age-Appropriate and Innovative Patient Education Materials
New and innovative formats of educational materials such as comic books and podcasts are giving patients more opportunities to learn in a fun and unique ways.
However, pamphlets and videos still hold a good place and can be displayed in the waiting room.
Individualized approaches to patient education will be more effective in the long run.
4. Ask Patients to Explain Information Back to You
Asking patients to repeat the information back to you before they leave can help you correct details they get wrong or fill in the gaps. This is an excellent way to reinforce the information.
5. Educate the Patient’s Family or Caretaker
Educating a family member or caretaker along with the patient will help to ensure that the medical information will be retained.
This approach is especially important for young children or adults with a learning disability or who need special education needs.