Waiting Room Education Systems Should Spur Questions, Not Answers

A stock photo of a patient consulting doctor.

As waiting room patient education systems continue to get more popular, healthcare providers are getting more options to choose.  Suppliers offer systems that run the gamut to “free” one size fits all to subscription based systems that customize the content to the specific office demographics.  Each of these systems have pluses and minuses ranging from the amount of customization, the quality of the content, the office’s control over the content showed, and the impact on the patient.

One thing that should be universally true though is that the content should focus on symptoms, not solutions.  Patients should be given cursory knowledge of a particular disease state that includes the basic signs of that disease, ways to avoid that disease through lifestyle changes, and ways to naturally manage the disease- if possible.

The content should not be telling patients about the treatments for the disease states.  That is the providers’ job.  One of the reasons there was such an overhaul of the way pharmaceutical companies reach healthcare professionals was because they were influencing the provider’s decision making.  How is a patient coming in after watching programming in your office and self-diagnosing a disease and asking for a specific solution not the same thing?

True patient education should focus on your staff, your services, your community involvement, your treatment philosophy, and general health and wellness advice from credible sources like the AHRQ, AMA, ADA, and other associations that dedicate millions of dollars to impartial research.  It should educate, engage and empower the patient to know they are going to get the best care for their healthcare providers and that by being an active participant, they will together achieve good results.

If you have a free system, ask yourself why they gave it to you for free.  If you were not part of a beta test to make sure the technology worked, it was because your patients fit the profile of the drugs they are looking to sell.

Contact me at jim@haloheals.com or (856) 520-8655 to discuss how you can get a real patient education system sponsored only by you.

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