Creating online education for bariatric patients can be easy with the right tools.
It should come as no surprise that most patients are online daily. According to Pew Research, 31% of US adults say they are online “almost constantly.” Providing bariatric patient education online not only reaches patients where they already feel most comfortable but also offers a host of benefits, from the ease of scalability to the potential to reach a broader range of new clients to providing content on-demand when the patient needs it.
Learn about three tools to help you conduct your bariatric education program online.
- Effective patient education programs help better prepare patients for their bariatric surgery.
- Providing patient education online has many benefits, including better accessibility and scalability.
- Infographics, podcasts, and YouTube videos are all effective ways to move your education program online and get it seen by more patients.
What is the Goal of a Bariatric Patient Education Program?
Every effective bariatric patient journey begins with patient education.
As part of the growing healthcare movement towards patient-centered care, education is a vital part of the patient engagement process. Quality education helps your patients take an active role in their healthcare team, equipping them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. The more knowledgeable a patient is, the better they can ask pertinent questions and identify how they want to receive care.
Sixty years of research has found that patient education is effective in reducing:
- Medication use
- Number of visits to medical facilities
It also shows that patient education helps to significantly improve:
- Physiological outcomes
- Physical outcomes
- Psychological outcomes
- Patients’ general function
Why Create Your Education Program Online?
As our daily lives move increasingly online, traditional modes of patient education are becoming less desirable. Creating online education about bariatrics demonstrates to your patients that you are dedicated to staying current and shows your commitment to providing them with convenient and accessible care.
Traditional Modes of Patient Education
Traditional modes of patient education relied heavily on:
- In-person seminars
- In-person consultations
- Printed flyers, brochures, and pamphlets
These types of patient education come with several drawbacks, including relying on a patient physically coming into the practice at a particular time. With these higher barriers to access, patients are less likely to follow through and get the information they need.
The Benefits of Online Patient Education
Compared to traditional modes of patient education, online tools offer a wide range of benefits.
Online education in bariatrics is:
- Accessible at the patient’s convenience, making them more likely to find the time to complete it.
- Reachable by a broader audience. Online tools help you reach prospective patients who might be curious about bariatric surgery but have yet to consult with a physician. This can help boost your rates of new client acquisition.
- Easily scaled. Whereas an in-person seminar has limited seats, an online seminar can theoretically host an indefinite number of attendees.
- More cost-effective. An unlimited number of patients can access pre-recorded and digital materials without any additional cost to you.
- Flexible to adjust to the changing needs of your patients.
Online Education Success in Other Industries
Other industries know the value of online education well.
In the software industry, providing online training drives product use up. The Instagram scheduling tool “Later” raised their customer retention by 320% after providing their onboarding education in an online course. Software companies like this are seeing success by making their educational tools as accessible as possible to their clients online.
In retail, one of the leading eCommerce platforms, Shopify, implemented an advanced customer academy to proactively deliver educational information to their client base. They have since seen a 491% rise in their monthly learners.
Customers are eager to learn and ready to embrace online educational programs that meet their needs.
3 Tools to Conduct Online Education for Bariatrics Patients
There are a myriad of tools online to help you put together a bariatric patient education program, but here are three cost-effective and widely used tools to get started:
One of the most eye-catching and easily shareable options available to you is an infographic. Infographics capture complex information in bite-sized chunks, making them easy to digest in even a short amount of time. This makes them ideal for online education in bariatrics.
This (partial) infographic by the Mexico Bariatric Center succinctly captures the different types of bariatric surgery available to their patients. It uses visual tools to allow easy comparison between them. The use of color and images makes this informative and convenient to save for future reference.
More than a third of Americans regularly listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a prevalent form of entertainment and information and are considered a cost-efficient way to disseminate bariatric information to your patients. You can record a podcast with as little equipment like a microphone and a laptop. The informality of most podcasts helps build a feeling of familiarity and comfort between the podcaster and its audience.
Busy bariatric patients can integrate a podcast into their daily routine while in the car, washing dishes, or doing other activities. This makes it easier to learn what they need to know about their upcoming bariatric journey. Podcasts are readily accessed on any mobile device and can be replayed as many times as the patient needs to understand the information thoroughly.
With 122 million active users daily, YouTube is a giant in the online media space and an effective way to reach your patients with engaging educational material.
Educational content hosted on the familiar YouTube platform is easily found by new and existing patients alike and can be embedded into your own website as needed. The use of video playlists can help add order to your content when you want to provide patients with some structure in your program, but still, allow them to explore freely if they prefer. This provides patients with the flexibility to view your educational program at their own pace, rewinding and replaying whenever necessary.
You can use a combination of short and long-form videos to provide a wide array of information (from deep dives to thirty-second overviews) to suit patients at every stage of their bariatric journey. The comment section also allows you to engage in real-time with your viewers to find out what questions they have, bringing patient engagement to a platform they already inhabit.
Quality Patient Education is In Your Hands
As a care provider, your patients come to you for information and guidance throughout their bariatric journey. Reach your patients more effectively by adopting automated patient enablement software where you can easily embed your educational content.
Contact us today to learn how Wellbe’s automated patient enablement platform can help you better engage with your patients.