Please enable JavaScript to access this page. Medicine And Fitness: Important Information Related To Use Of Patient Handouts

Important Information Related To Use Of Patient Handouts

Patient handouts are one of the most important tools of passing information to clients coming to a healthcare facility. Their use has been observed to increase in recent times due to the numerous advantages that are associated with them. If you are planning on starting to use handouts in your facility, you need to ensure that you acquire some information relating to their design, use and evaluation of their effectiveness. We will look at some of these aspects in this article.

There are two main types of handouts all with different advantages and disadvantages. The first type includes the commercially available materials. In such materials the information is already printed and the content may target various groups of persons. The healthcare provider simply chooses what they thinks suits their situation best. The second type is the locally produced material. In this type, the healthcare provider is fully responsible for the design and production of the material.

When developing your materials, make sure that the interests of the client are well taken care of. The objectives of the process must be clearly understood from the start. Some of the objectives that one may wish to be met include mass education, influencing behaviour change or emphasising on treatment compliance. All these are in turn aimed at improving service delivery to the client. The materials may also be used as a form of advertisement.

There are several factors that determine the type of design that is adopted. This applies for both the commercially available and the locally produced materials. For example materials that are meant for single use will be designed differently from those that are required for frequent reference. Sometimes, the healthcare provider is interested in feedback from the client and provisions for this have to be made. The demographic factors such as age, gender and income have to be taken into account as well.

When choosing the language and style to use in your design, one of the most important considerations is the education level of the clientele. To determine the education levels, some form of research is warranted. If this cannot be done, the simplest design should be adopted so that a majority of the clients understand what is being communicated. Always ensure that the content is up to date and accurate.

The writer must ensure that they use simple and easily understood language. The use of medical jargon should be avoided whenever possible. Any technical terms appearing in the literature must be accompanied by definitions that can be understood by laymen. Active form of speech is recommended as it communicates to the reader directly. The same is the case with the use of second rather than third person.

Using complex sentences leads to confusion to readers and should not be used. Short, simple sentences are better at delivering messages precisely. Words that have more than 3 syllables should be reduced or avoided altogether. The readability can be assessed by using a sample of clients and correcting any problems that arise.

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