- Materials are too hard to comprehend
- The graphics and illustrations in the materials are unclear
- There is no practical advice or tips regarding lifestyle changes for patients
- Language needs for patients are not considered
- We strongly recommend picking materials that have the following four qualities:
1. Easy to ReadIf the materials you select are hard to understand, patients will become discouraged in learning about their heart health and general self-care. It’s critical that you select materials that use accessible language. Patient educators will often choose material that is inexpensive (due to budget constraints) but end up with a resource that is difficult to understand, especially for younger patients with cardiac issues.
2. Clear Graphics and VisualsPatients must know things such as specific medications and other treatments that lead to healthy lifestyle changes. Visuals help break down the complexities of a medical condition into more easily understandable content. Poor visuals in your education materials could prevent the learning required for a healthier lifestyle. Be sure to prioritize clear graphics when choosing cardiac materials.
3. Certified and Updated ContentPatient care changes often. As new medications are developed and methods of self-care are updated, standards of care are updated. Be sure to buy the most current version of your materials as they are often updated.
4. Multiple Language Options
Diseases can happen to anyone. As a result, language options are important so that educators can teach people who speak different languages. Once you have decided that you’re interested in a particular educational resource, it’s critical that you test the material before making a purchase. Never buy a medical education resource sight unseen. Here are three steps you can follow to get the most of your resource evaluation and decision-making process:
Always ask for a sample of the education materials that you’re considering. This will allow you to make sure that the information is up to date and get a better look at how the materials meet the standards of the four elements we listed above.
Involving other members of your group or organization in the evaluation process will help you get a better feel for the viability of the educational materials. They may catch issues or provide insight that allows you to make the best decision for your patients.
The temptation educators face is choosing the cheaper materials. It’s important to seriously consider the implications and problems that may arise from cheaper patient education materials. Additionally, we strongly advise that you determine the availability of these materials as the number of patients with disease increases.
Partnership ensures that your money is well spent, and your materials meet the needs of your patients and coworkers. Make sure that the vendor you’re considering is responsive, attentive, and willing to answer your questions. When patients have current information that is easy to understand, the result is better self-care, and a healthier, happier life!