How St. Jude Research Hospital revamped patient education for the YouTube generation
Receiving a life-threatening health diagnosis can be frightening, confusing, and overwhelming. Unfortunately, how hospitals deliver subsequent medical information to patients and families can contribute to those feelings, rather than ease them.
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, for example, families used to receive a large notebook of information during their initial hospital admission -- just hours or days after they had been informed of their child’s cancer diagnosis.
“Receipt of this notebook did not ensure education,” said Dana McLure, Nursing Administration and Patient Care Services Project Manager, at St. Jude. “As a matter of fact, at times nurses would find the ‘education notebook’ had not been reviewed by the patient or family days after admission.”
Through the facility’s Shared Decision Making model of leadership, clinical nurses reported that indeed, patients and their families often “had little or no retention of the information that had been presented.” By incorporating what McLure called the “bedside caregiver perspective,” information overload and timing of patient education were identified as obstructions to both the patient experience and caregivers’ satisfaction.
In a HIMSS16 session, “Watch and Learn: Transforming Patient Education,” on March 3, McLure and her colleague and Neely James, Systems Analyst for Patient Care Services Informatics at St. Jude, will focus on key ways to improve the transmission of such vital information.
Migration from verbal or paper education to digital delivery makes sense in today’s world, in which patients and families are accustomed to learning and communicating via technology such as email, text message, websites, and more.
A major discovery, they report, was that use of video education, whether live action or animation, provides a broader and more effective platform for information transfer.
“Because we are a pediatric hospital many of our parents are millennials and more likely to be comfortable with information being delivered in a video format,” McLure said. “Our patients are definitely of the YouTube generation.”
Video presentations can provide demonstrations of procedures, proper use of devices, or even visual examples of symptoms, “which can lead to enhanced comprehension,” they continue.
What’s more, they add, placing education into an on-demand video format “allows the patient or family to watch the education when it is convenient for them, as opposed to when the clinician provider has time to provide it.” And such videos can also be viewed more than one time based on the individual patient and family learning needs.
“Determining when a patient or family is ready to learn is as important as determining what they need to know,” McLure said.
The session "Watch and Learn: Transforming Patient Education," will take place from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, in Lando 4201.
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.