Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Various Benefits Of Patient Handouts

By Steven Rogers

Communication is a vital part of any healthcare facility. It helps the clients of the facility to learn more about their condition and how best they can benefit from the services that are provided. There are many ways of passing over this information including the use of audiovisual documentaries, health talks by the healthcare providers and handouts. Patient education handouts are among the most effective method. We will look at what to consider when making patient handouts.

Prospective users of these documents need to understand that the main role of handouts is to educate rather than advertise. As a matter of fact, the general recommendation is that 80% of content should be allocated to education of patients while 20% can be used for advertisements. Research indicates that persons that are educated regularly are likely to remain loyal to a healthcare institution than those that are not.

Design of a brochure is among the first things that you need to consider as you start using these tools of communication. Think about the exact content that you wish to communicate to the clients. To come up with this, you need to create an outline and come up with the finer details as time goes on. You need to determine the number of paragraphs that you will have and what each of them will address.

The format chosen will also determine, to a large extent, the readability of your brochure. A commonly used format is that of titles and subtitles. Titles address the main topic while subtitles deal with smaller issues under this topic. In the case of diabetes, for example, the topics may include causes, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and so on. Subtitles under treatment may include, drugs, physical exercise, diet modification and so on. Question and answer format is also popular.

The message should always be appropriate for the target audience. If the group is larger and heterogeneous, there is a need to have it segmented into smaller units that have similar problems. The basis of segmentation may be the gender, the age, the level of education as well as the type of medical condition. When you do this, it becomes easier to develop materials that can address specific concerns.

Remain as simple as possible in your communication. The level of vocabulary used should be carefully chosen depending on the level of education of your audience. Go for short and concise sentences that are devoid of unnecessary explanations. If there is a need to provide more information, reading resources can be referenced in the brochure.

Create room for illustrations to accompany the literature. Illustrations are in some cases, the best approach when explaining some concepts. The two main types that exist include the filler illustrations and the informational type. The former have educational value and are merely included to add color and to break the monotony of reading. The informational type, on the other, hand have an educational value.

Remember that you can outsource this entire process to an agency. The agency will do everything on your behalf including conducting client interviews, designing the brochure and creating the content. The only downside to this is the high cost that may be associated with the process. The main advantage is that it will free you up to continue with your regular routine.

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