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article / 27 Jul 2017

5 Reasons Why Patient Education Handouts Are Becoming Increasingly Popular



Patient education handouts, or ‘Fact Sheets’ as we call them at Healthshare, are becoming increasingly popular. In July 2017, a record high of 2,112 Healthshare Fact Sheets were handed out to patients by Australian healthcare professionals in a single day. Below, we look at some of the reasons why healthcare providers are routinely handing out Fact Sheets for patient education, and how you can use them in your practice.

1. Patient education Fact Sheets save Doctors time
On average, GPs have about 8 minutes to get through each patient appointment. This time includes meet and greet, discussion about the patient’s symptoms, the GP’s advice about the condition, and treatment options and time to answer any questions. By providing patient education handouts, GPs are able to focus their consultation with patients on the areas that matter most and provide all other peripheral information to the patient as take-home reading.

2. Healthshare’s verified Fact Sheets cover a wide range of conditions and treatment options, including education on uncommon illnesses
Many patients present to GPs with a collection of common illnesses: cold and flu, migraines, sports injuries, children's ear infections, etc. But once in a while, a patient presents to their GP with an uncommon illness that the doctor has to 'brush the dust off their medical journals' to treat. Healthshare’s patient education Fact Sheets cover over 1,000 health topics including many of the less-common conditions like albuminuria, hidradenitis suppurativa and pelvic floor dysfunction in men. Having verified patient information available at hand ensures that both the doctor and the patient have all the information they need to make the best health decisions.

3. Fact Sheets improve patient understanding so they’re more likely to comply with treatment
In a recent GP survey, Healthshare found that 4 in every 5 patients who received printed information from their GP had improved understanding of their condition and were more likely to comply with treatment. This research demonstrates the important role that patient education plays in fostering patient understanding, buy in and adherence to treatment, and influencing positive health outcomes.

4. Fact Sheets help Patients to learn about not-for-profit organisations that support their conditions
Many of the Fact Sheets on Healthshare’s website and accessible via GP clinical software are provided by leading health industry bodies and not-for-profit organisations. These Fact Sheets often provide patients with holistic information relevant to their journey. For example, the Cancer Council Victoria Fact Sheet on Oesophagogastric cancer helps patients learn about cancer staging and treatment, as well as peer support groups for both patients and carers. This can be incredibly helpful for patients learning to come to terms with a recently diagnosed illness.

5. Healthshare’s verified Fact Sheets help patients avoid finding ‘misinformation’.
The internet is saturated with information on a variety of different health topics from a variety of different sources. Healthshare’s Fact Sheets are all individually and independently verified by our qualified Australian Medical Director, providing both patients and doctors with information they can rely on.

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