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Educating Your Patients
Why Patient Education?
  • Save time and increase patient compliance.1
  • Minimize your risk against malpractice lawsuits.2
  • Build patient trust and reduce anxiety.3


How effective is patient education in your practice?
  1. Do you feel your patients receive enough resources to educate themselves about their conditions?
    Using a combination of methods to educate your patients — including written materials, audiovisual aids, individual counseling and community resources — can be more effective than only using a single technique.4
  2. Can your patients read and understand the materials you give them?
    Assess your patient materials for factors such as literacy levels, type styles and sizes, and image size and quality.
  3. Do your patients read and speak sufficient English to fully comprehend the material?
    Your patients may speak English, but not read it well, especially if the information involves new or complex medical terminology.
  4. Are your patients' questions being answered adequately?
    Consumer Reports magazine conducted a survey of 70,000 readers on the doctor/patient relationship. Those who were dissatisfied with their doctors' communication skills specifically noted their doctors were not open to questions. Patients who felt their doctors didn’t communicate well were less likely to follow their doctors' instructions.5
  5. Are you effectively obtaining informed consent from your patients?
    Your documents and process for obtaining informed consent have to stand up to legal scrutiny. The clarity and completeness of the information you exchange with patients affects your credibility. Some elective procedures, such as PRK, even have FDA mandates for informed consent.