Every surgery practice should consider trying the five online patient education solutions we’ve listed below.
Patient education is a vital part of the surgical journey. A recent study found patients were 11% more knowledgeable and procedures went 14% quicker after web-based patient education.
The landscape has changed. The pandemic forced healthcare to move online at an unprecedented rate, and traditional methods of patient education like seminars and long-form videos are being replaced with shorter, bite-sized pieces of content that patients can consume at their leisure.
Let’s look at some of the most effective digital patient education solutions for surgery practices today.
- Patient education is an important way to engage and prepare patients for surgery and can be a great way to reach new potential clients.
- Good quality patient education is empowering, accessible, customized, available at the right time, and easy to understand.
- Online tools for patient education include patient portals, social media, apps, chatbots, and games.
What is Patient Education?
Patient education is the process of providing your patients with information and education about their condition and treatment. It allows you to connect with your patients and build relationships, which can result in better health outcomes, higher patient retention, and increased revenue for your surgery practice.
Why is Patient Education Important?
Patient education allows you to provide your patients with the information they need to make the best decisions for their health.
By providing patients with prep material and education about their procedures, you can help them feel more comfortable during their surgery and reduce anxiety. Good patient education engages patients as partners in their surgical journey and helps improve health outcomes as a result.
Hear nurses talk about the power of patient education:
Good online patient education can also attract new patients, helping you generate more business and grow your practice.
What are the Traits of Good Patient Education?
The patient education tool you choose should be able to provide consistent, engaging, and useful content for your patients.
The best patient education is:
- Encouraging and empowering. Allow patients to become active partners in their own care.
- Accessible to all your patients. It should be easy to access and intuitive. It can also be offered in different languages, with closed captions, in a variety of formats, etc.
- Tailored for each patient. Your information should be relevant to the individual patient’s needs and concerns.
- Available at the right times for each patient. Patients need to receive the right amount of information at each point in their surgery journey so that they can be informed without becoming overwhelmed. This means that you should send out patient education materials throughout the patient journey, not all at the beginning or end.
- Easy to understand. It should be in simple, clear, and jargon-free language so that your patients can understand everything without any medical expertise.
You want to select a patient education solution that has a wide reach and will be easy for both you and your patients to use.
What are the Traditional Methods of Patient Education?
Traditional methods of patient education have been:
- Printed materials like brochures, pamphlets, and fliers.
- In-person during consultations.
- Long presentations at seminars or recorded talks.
Which Methods of Patient Education are Most Effective Today?
Today’s patients, like all consumers, prefer smaller, targeted pieces of information that they can access at their convenience.
The rapid adoption of digital resources during the pandemic has revolutionized patient education, bringing both challenges and opportunities. That means it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations to remain competitive.
5 Online Patient Education Solutions for Your Surgery Practice
These five digital patient education solutions are all accessible, effective, and highly customizable.
1. Patient Portals
Patient portals are secure, patient-friendly websites that your patients can use to find important healthcare information. Almost 40% of the U.S. population used a patient portal in 2020, up 13% since 2014.
Through a patient portal, patients can:
- View their health records
- Submit and receive test results
- Access medical records
- Review medication lists
- Communicate with physicians
- Access information at any time
Patient portals provide a convenient, central, and patient-centric place for patients to access all the information they need throughout their surgical journey. And by providing a convenient way for patients to ask questions whenever they think of them, patient portals facilitate better patient engagement.
Chatbots are online programs that simulate human interaction, using robotic process automation or machine learning to read and understand complex questions and respond with useful information. Chatbots provide patients with specific information without requiring them to actively search for it. They can answer common questions and address concerns, which can help patients feel more comfortable during their surgery.
Chatbots are a familiar feature of modern customer service, so providing one on your surgical facility’s website gives patients a convenient and natural way to get their questions answered at any time that suits them.
You can use patient education apps to provide education about prep, procedures, medications, and post-operative care to patients from anywhere. You can also use apps to provide patients with tools that can help them to track their symptoms, medications, and other relevant health information.
4. Social Media
With 4.5 billion active social media users globally, social media is an effective way to reach a wide range of patients and help prospective clients find you. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok facilitate sharing information in small, easily digestible chunks in the form of eye-catching photos, videos, and posts.
For example, Registered Nurse @nurseangelaknows has 375.1k followers on TikTok and is one of the first results when users search “nurse” on the app. Her succinct, informative content is easy to watch and share.
Games are already used to teach people about a wide variety of topics, from language learning to meditation practice. Studies have shown that gamification can boost student participation and improve their motivation to learn.
SuperBetter is an example of a game designed to help patients improve their mental health, especially while recovering from a physical illness, by making them a superhero in their own health journey and “gamifying” the steps to recovery.
In your surgery practice, games can teach patients about various topics, such as procedures and medications. Patients are more engaged and more likely to actively participate in their care when they are doing something that they enjoy.
Start Implementing Online Patient Education Solutions
Wellbe has a range of personalized care automation solutions to help you best reach your patients. We specialize in connecting surgery practices with their patients to boost patient engagement and health outcomes.
Reach out today and find out how Wellbe can help you improve your patient education.