Patient education campaigns have become increasingly common as healthcare organizations strive to get patients more involved in their own health. Drivers for change include the patient-centered medical home movement and Meaningful Use – both with a shared goal of improving patient health and wellbeing and reducing spending on healthcare. Of course, creating a patient engagement strategy isn’t easy. However, once the benefits are measured, the efforts will prove worth it. Here are some of the benefits patient education initiatives can provide to both patients and physicians.
Educated patients are better prepared. When patients are conscious of their condition and medical needs, they are more open to hearing options for treatment. They ask relevant questions and take the initiative to do independent research. They are also better prepared to understand consequences of care.
Engaged patients are more motivated to do well. Patients who understand how the decisions they make – and the actions they fail to take – can affect their treatment outcomes, are more likely to follow care plans. These patients tend to set care goals of their own and are more inclined to do well.
Informed patients can better manage their health. They understand the factors that can exacerbate their condition, as well as the things they can do to effectively manage their health. For example, a hypertensive patient that is educated on the role that salt plays in raising their blood pressure is more likely to avoid salted foods. This awareness and self-care can improve treatment outcomes by preventing unnecessary visits to the doctor due to complications.