The Importance of Patient Information and Education Results in Providing a Better Experience

The Importance of Patient Information and Education Results in Providing a Better Experience

As many people know, the accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of disease are imperative for individuals who are seeking a high quality of life. However, many individuals have yet to recognize the integral role that being well-informed can play in improving health outcomes. Unfortunately, patient misunderstandings of conditions and lack of knowledge regarding proper care for specific illnesses can lead to non-compliance. When the doctor’s recommendations are disregarded, individuals can experience a wide range of unwanted outcomes. On the other hand, when individuals understand a disease clearly, they are much more likely to feel comfortable with the form and scope of the care they receive while also adhering to the counsel and guidance provided by their doctor.

The Impact Of Education: A Brief Overview
To manage diseases, potential side effects, and instructions from their doctors, patients must possess adequate knowledge or education. For example, when an individual undergoes cancer treatments, the process can seem extremely challenging because there are so many components of it that must be understood. Specifically, the patient needs to understand what is expected before and after chemotherapy. Research indicates that individuals who have cancer benefit from knowledge acquisition processes that provide them with key principles for self-care, enhancing self-concepts, and anxiety reduction. Additionally, patients benefit from learning about strategies they can implement to improve oral status and pain control while reducing the experience of disruption in their daily lives. In short, when a disease is understood clearly, individuals are more likely to adhere to their regimens and feel comfortable with the care they receive.

At this point, many patients are receiving treatments in the home setting. Examples include the use of central venous catheters and oral chemotherapy. Other individuals attain chemotherapy treatment in various other settings. Irrespective of the physical space or environment where individuals receive treatment, educational programs can have a profoundly positive, powerful effect in helping individuals maintain their regimens and achieving health outcomes. When individuals learn about their condition, they gain the knowledge necessary to undergo treatments with confidence. In many cases, adequate knowledge acquisition prepares the patient to complete their treatments outside a medical facility.

What Happens When Patients Are Not Informed?
As many medical experts know, patient education greatly improves compliance with medication for a wide range of illnesses and levels of disease. On the other hand, a lack of compliance can lead to multiple negative outcomes, including higher medical costs, lower quality of life, increased hospitalizations, and poor clinical outcomes. While medical experts know that educating patients is important, they also understand that this process can present unique challenges. For example, many diseases are incredibly complex. In light of the fact that roughly half of adult Americans possess substantive knowledge of health and illness, helping individuals attain the information they need to grapple with and overcome disease can be challenging.

What Should Be Done?
As healthcare marketers and providers realize that educating patients play a central role in improving their outcomes, it is imperative that they develop and offer more efficient methods for information dissemination. To facilitate the patient’s knowledge acquisition process, healthcare providers should be cognizant of best practices, emerging trends, and all other relevant information that will empower them to present individuals with the most up-to-date, effective data available. The resources presented by healthcare marketers need to be communicated in a way that is easy for individuals to understand. More specifically, the data should be communicated in laymen’s terms.

Patient Education Benefits Everyone
While implementing and optimizing education methods for patients benefits them, it is important to note that this practice can also have a wide range of great advantages for providers. For example, patient education programs increase satisfaction with care while also attracting patients to their provider. Education programs may also decrease the health provider’s liability. Additionally, patient education increases adherence to treatments and medication while also promoting patient-centered care.

Yet another benefit of patient education is that it leads to increased compliance. Once this happens, the healthcare delivery system becomes more cost-effective and efficient. Additionally, educating one’s patients reduces complications related to illnesses and ensures continuity of care. Finally, high quality, accessible patient education programs attract individuals to health providers while also increasing their level of satisfaction with the care they receive.

What Challenges Will Healthcare Marketers Experience?
As healthcare marketers seek to provide patients with high quality, customized education regarding their conditions, they will experience various challenges. Specifically, they need to play an integral role in the patient education process while simultaneously understanding how much information needs to be given to the individuals they serve. In many cases, patients can suffer from overload as they are provided with more information than they need or can digest. Additionally, healthcare marketers must remember to create materials that are adaptable across different languages and within multiple media channels. For example, if a healthcare marketer is providing patients with knowledge about a foot fracture, the materials used may need to be available in English and Spanish. Also, knowledge about at-home care for a broken bone might need to be presented in the form of Powerpoint presentations, brochures, YouTube videos, etc. When healthcare marketers do this consistently, patients will understand data, use it to face their conditions, and become more comfortable and confident with all aspects of the care process.

Conclusion

In today’s world, many individuals are struggling with major diseases or minor illnesses that problematize their ability to lead happy productive lives. However, healthcare providers who begin to place primacy on patient information and education can play an integral role in empowering patients to attain the knowledge necessary to live fully and freely. Refer to the information outlined in this article to maintain a clear understanding of how you can make patient education an integral, effective component of your health care and treatment processes.