As all therapists know, time with an individual patient is extremely limited and the real progress is often the result of the work the patient completes between health care appointments.
So how can therapists set patients up for the most successful outcome? One important component is deliberately incorporating pertinent and impactful patient education materials into every appointment.
If you are evaluating patient education resources for your practice, ask these questions before you invest!
- What is the reading level of the material?
- Are materials translated into the patient’s language?
- Are instructions included for both left and right side involvement?
- Are patients given step-by-step instructions?
- How many different conditions are addressed?
- How many handouts are included?
- Are the illustrations clear and simple?
- Are patient resources like tracking sheets and journals included?
Reinforces Therapist Visit
- Does the material support independent attempts?
- Is guidance included for caregivers?
Easy Access for Therapist
- How is the material organized?
- Can therapists easily search electronic materials?
- Is the content evidence-based?
- Does the material follow best practices?
- Are there limits on how many copies you can make?
- Is it easy to make copies?
- Are there handouts for caregivers?
- Are tracking sheets included that can be shared with the health care team?
- Will the resource be just as useful for student as it is for seasoned clinicians?
- Does the resource apply to a wide range of patients?
What you leave behind for your patients really does matter – a lot! Build relationships, improve health literacy, strengthen understanding with patient teach-back, and provide effective, written patient materials.