How Patient Education Improves Health Care Outcomes

by Emma Rowan 4 months ago in advice

Proper diagnosis of a disease and acquiring an effective treatment are essential to a patient's prognosis and the improvement of their quality of life. But in addition to this, there's also compelling evidence about the value of being properly informed.

How Patient Education Improves Health Care Outcomes

Proper diagnosis of a disease and acquiring an effective treatment are essential to a patient's prognosis and the improvement of their quality of life. But in addition to this, there's also compelling evidence about the value of being properly informed.

Picture yourself as a healthcare professional, trying to explain an issue with a patient's spine without a proper spine model (or any other material to teach) to demonstrate.

Your patient wouldn't know the first thing about the intricate parts of a spine. Without understanding what you, the specialist, is talking about, it's not far-fetched to imagine your patients only half-listening.

A patient's misunderstanding of a specific condition and the care needed can result in non-compliance to a health care professional's recommendations. And in result, it significantly and adversely affects the outcomes.

The more clearly a disease or an affliction is understood, the more likely it is for an individual to pay attention and be comfortable with the care they'll receive. They will likely adhere to necessary regimens the doctor would prescribe too.

The Importance of Preparation and Education

Image Credit: News Credit

Patients need to be adequately prepared and informed to manage their illness. They need instructions from their physician and they need to know any potential side effects of certain interventions.

Spinal problems, for instance, can be an intimidating subject, and often, specialists resort to using spine models for patient education. Cancer treatment, as another example, can be very intimidating.

Adequate knowledge about what to expect during and after treatments and other procedures are critical.

"The more clearly a disease is understood, the more likely it is that an individual will be comfortable with their care and adhere to necessary regimens."

~ The Wellness Network

Some patients will have to undergo treatments at home, while others have to take a trip to the medical office to meet their health care needs. Educational programs can make a difference in adherence to a regiment and the corresponding outcome.

Understanding their condition means that these individuals have the knowledge to undertake their treatments with more confidence. And in some cases, they're more likely able to care for themselves safely outside of a medical facility.

What's the Impact of Being Mal-informed?

"Patient education significantly improves compliance with medication across a broad range of conditions and disease severities."

~ The American Journal of Medicine, Deborah T. Bold, PhD & Betsy McClung, MN, RN

Conversely, a lack of compliance is associated with a poor clinical outcome, lower quality of life, increased hospitalizations, and higher overall health costs. However, the challenge of educating patients are multi-faceted, especially when you think of the complexity of many diseases and the fact that a lot of adults have limited health literacy.

Healthcare providers and healthcare marketers recognize and know the undeniable benefits of effective education in improving patient outcomes. This comes with more easily understandable and efficient methods of spreading information that's required.

Resources must be presented in laymen's terms in order to communicate and educate in ways that are understandable and impactful for a lot of patients.

In addition, materials should be authored at several reading levels and diverse languages.

Patient Education for Everyone

Image Credit: FH News

Apart from the clear value of education for patients, this practice also provides big advantages for providers. Olga Dreeben, physical therapist in Patient Education in Rehabilitation, summarized the key benefits of patient education.

  • Patient education can decrease the provider's liability.
  • The programs attract patients to the provider and multiply their satisfaction with their care.
  • Patient education promotes patient-centered care, and this increases medication and adherence to treatments and medication.
  • Increases in compliance leads to cost-effective and more efficient healthcare delivery systems.
  • Educating patients means continuity of care. It reduces complications related to the illness.

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Emma Rowan
Emma Rowan
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