Patient education a monster, monster problem? Here’s the solution

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An online article described patient education as a monster, monster problem because patients don’t understand their doctors, which leads to preventable health care expenses.

Here’s what the article said:


“Patient education is a monster, monster problem,” said Matt Berry, Orca Health’s founder and CEO.


According to company statistics, more than half of all visits to a doctor’s office don’t result in optimal care because the patient doesn’t understand what the doctor is saying. This problem, called “low health literacy,” costs the nation as much as $238 billion a year, with $73 billion attributed to hospital stays caused by a patient not understanding or adhering to a doctor’s instructions.

OK, I agree.

Then the article proposed provider-prescribed apps as a solution to this monster problem.

Huh?

I love apps. But really. This is an example of a solution looking for a problem.

The problem is that patients don’t understand their doctors. There’s a simple, effective, low-tech solution to this, based on evidence:

Ask the patient to teach back to you his or her understanding of what you just said. If the patient did not understand, explain it a different way, until the patient can understand it.


This is immediately available for use by all health care providers.

You want more than that? Encourage patients to take notes or record the conversation so they don’t have to memorize everything.

Monster, monster problem solved!

Read at: http://notimetoteach.com/2014/patient-education-is-a-monster-monster-problem/

See on notimetoteach.com

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About PEAS Healthcare

Patient Education and Awareness Series (P.E.A.S™) came into being as India’s first patient education library with its own exhaustive and consistently growing list of medical titles, covering a broad spectrum of health conditions. We created P.E.A.S™ to help patient take informed decision about his/her health condition and at the same time help doctor improve quality of care and enhance treatment compliance. Over the years, we have steadily evolved the quality of content, the range of delivery platforms as well as the canvas of services while serving the medical fraternity in India and other parts of the world. More than 18000 doctors in India use our products and more than 5 million patients view our programs annually. We base our strength on our expert understanding of medical practices, scrutinized and approved by some of the eminent doctors in the country.

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