Patient Education is Vital

Patient education and health literacy impact many aspects of a medical practice.  They can affect our customer attraction, retention, and referral.  Health literacy (patient education) impacts operating cost, quality, results and overall satisfaction.  Delivering quality medical services and growing a strong practice is extremely challenging.  Since patient education can address both quality and growth it is a logical area of focus for many practitioners.  It is important to leverage the best formats for delivering patient education such as, written, verbal, interactive video, images, illustrations, traditional video, and physical models.  It is equally important to allow patient access to the information at the appropriate time (both in-office and away).

Patient Education FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy emphasizes the importance of providing information that helps patients make informed decisions.  The information should be developed and disseminated in a manner that is accurate, accessible, and actionable.  Humans have evolved as audio-visual learners.  We often learn best in a story telling format that improves comprehension and retention.  Video can be an effective method to present relevant patient education material.  If the video is an interactive format that will improve health literacy by increasing patient engagement.

This article discusses 8 suggestions on improving patient health literacy.  A brief summary includes: 1) ask open ended questions, 2) use “teach back” method, 3) use “show back”, 4) hand over material upside down to create engagement, 5) useful simple language, 6) speak slowly, 7) use graphics or picture, 8) provide information at appropriate grade/education level.  These are very practical ways to improve health literacy especially during live consultations.  Your online educational resources should be developed using the same principles, which is why interactive video is such a powerful medical education resource.

Your current patients are your best source for new patients their endorsements and referrals are critical.  Therefore, patient satisfaction and quality of care are the first and most important areas to consider when building your practice.  Think about how your patient’s experience your practice. 

  • Are you convenient (i.e., scheduling, location, billing, educational resources…)?
  • Are you informative (i.e., answer question, anticipate concerns, pre/post visit resources…)?
  • Are you respectful (i.e., wait times, bedside manner, courteous…)  

Building around the patient experience will build strong relationships that generate new patients. 

We found a variety of helpful articles with specific tactical actions, however your actions should be consistent with the principles set out abound to build an authentic and sustainable growth plan.  This article discusses 5 tactical actions for growing your practice.


Patient satisfaction is a broad term and often difficult to define.  For example, what if a patient has a terminal disease or an inoperable condition.  How can you deliver a satisfying patient experience when so many variables are beyond your control?  Supporting your patient’s health literacy can create a partnership with them that manages expectations and improves outcomes.  In all stages of life, it is important to provide reliable, honest, understandable information to patients and their families to support their quality of life. 

Yes, because patient education and improved health literacy are proven factors that contribute to patient satisfaction.  As an educational tool interactive video is more powerful than traditional video or written text alone.  Interactive video has built in viewer engagement, and this improves the learning experience. 

Patients often look for doctors using internet searches.  Generally, the searches are a combination of “local” results and/or areas of specialty.  It is important that your web site contain content that will appropriately meet these search engine factors.  Additionally, your site design should address both “new or prospective” patient needs and existing patient requirements.  Some areas of interaction will be unique to these two audiences, but many elements will be common.  Reliable and informative content is the greatest area of overlap, and one of the most important for search engine results.  Presenting “useful” information on your site helps establish your expertise and build trust.  For information to be “useful” the recipient should be able to comprehend it and it should assist them in making a decision or performing a task.  Using a combination of words (written and spoken) and images (still & video) will improve your contents usefulness.    

Yes, video is an excellent tool for attracting and new patients.  Video is a powerful story telling platform that allows you to communicate complex and important topics in an easily understood manner.  The combination video and written content will boost your SEO presence and promote your expertise.  You may want to consider various formats and distribution channels for your videos.  Some video content might be short and best suited for social posting or developing a YouTube search presence.  Other video content might be interactive video and is better suited for your website to further the development of your patient-doctor relationship.

A profitable practice relies on efficient processes for the delivery of care in a cost-effective manner.  Patients don’t always cooperate in this “process” and it drives up costs.  Video is an excellent educational tool that we can use to reduce cost by creating a more informed customer.  It is often very simple things that we can communicate to reduce cost and improve “processes”.  For example, using video to communicate what to expect upon arrival (what to bring, how to prepare, where it go or park..) can reduce administrative costs, improve patient experience and lower treatment costs.