Patient education doesn’t always have to be some new and profound juicy tidbit. Yes, the groundbreaking medical research deserves to be shared, but that’s not all that needs to be communicated with your patients. The “common sense”, “everybody knows this”, “it goes without saying” information is still very much worth saying.
That’s because people do things even when they know that they shouldn’t do them. Smoking, sitting stationary at a computer for 8+ hours a day, sustaining themselves on fast food, leaving their babies in the car for just a few minutes, eating laundry detergent…
It’s OK to state the obvious with patient education
Maybe you’re wary of putting out another infographic on the dangers of smoking, or you want to avoid any more blog posts about the importance of physical activity because these are topics where there’s little debate, and everyone has known for years that smoking will kill you and exercise will improve your quality of life.
Here’s the thing, though. People still smoke, and people still sit around watching Netflix instead of walking, hiking, or biking.
That doesn’t mean that these are lost causes. It means that the dangers of smoking, the importance of exercise, and all of the other common sense information that people already know but don’t necessarily apply to their lives should still be communicated through patient education materials.
Take a different approach, or say the same things again
Sometimes getting someone to make a change is a matter of saying the same things in a different way.
- You can play with tone and delivery.
- If you’ve tried infographics in the past, try a quiz, video, or an email campaign.
- Instead of highlighting the negatives, offer helpful solutions or actions patients can take.
Of course, sometimes it just takes persistence. It’s always good to think of new, fresh ways to approach patient education, but there’s no harm in reiterating the important things. You probably do it every time you see your patient. Your website gives you an opportunity to reinforce those important messages in another medium, another place, another phrasing.
Eventually it will sink in.
And your blog can give that message many times, to many more people than you see face to face.