Patient Education and Technology

Article provided by Heather Boyle-Townsend, Vice President of Patient Engagement at MDM Healthcare

Linkedin Post  |  February 13th, 2018

I remember 25 years ago, listening to a speaker discuss the “new and exciting” world of technology to educate patients. I was a skeptic, thinking the approach was impersonal. Honestly, I thought it would ruin the patient experience.

However, this former doubter can tell you firsthand how well executed technology-driven patient education is an effective and efficient way to deliver consistent and accurate patient education.

It is important to note that success rates (completion rates and satisfaction) are higher when all three users are involved – patients, loved ones, and nurses/educators. I have found that multiple ways to access the education also increases success – in-room patient televisions as well as the patient’s personal smartphone or tablet. This allows them to interact with the education and information at the best time for them throughout the continuum of care.

That said, what I feel adamant about is integrating technology seamlessly into a nurse’s day. I am now witnessing nurses being required to assign education to only a tablet, deliver that cleaned tablet to the patient, show them how to sign on and access the education, then remember to retrieve the tablet, clean it, charge it and start all over…I think by doing it “this way”, we are setting patient education up to fail. I’m exhausted just thinking about doing all of that! Giving nurses many more things to do is not the direction we should be taking with technology.

Yes, to using technology to educate and engage patients and their loved ones, and no to asking the nurses to have to manage so many steps to make it happen.

What are your experiences with this technology and how do you see it growing moving forward? Do you have an example of how patient education succeeded and was easy to use for staff?