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A cornerstone of patient compliance is the ability to understand the information provided. According to the Institute of Medicine, more than half of Americans have some form of limited health literacy. They also found that this same group has a higher hospital readmission rate. If patients are expected to leave the doctors office or hospital and follow instructions, it is essential that the information is provided in an easily understandable format.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, health literacy is defined as the ability to obtain, read, use, and understand health information to make informed medical decisions. Advances in technology allow providers to expand their information delivery process. We see more doctors and dentists creating short explanation videos. The foundational purpose of these videos is often marketing; however, the videos can also be used to improve compliance rates.

One study found that 80% of patients forgot what their provider told them and 50% got the information wrong. By delivering patient educational materials in a variety of formats, the provider improves the patient’s health literacy. The patient can make more informed decisions about their health care as well as ask questions while they are still in the office. This helps to strengthen their understanding of the materials provided, which drastically improves patient satisfaction, and more importantly, patient compliance.

A video is an excellent medium for delivering educational materials to patients and does not need to be produced by an agency to be effective. Videos can be made on a shoestring budget using a tripod, smartphone, and an external mic. Video editing software is also plentiful and allows the practice to easily add features such as a logo and overlaid text to help brand and clarify points.

To be most effective, keep videos short. We recommend 3 minutes as a maximum. For topics that require more information, consider dividing the content into sections. Each section can be a video. Host videos on the business YouTube channel and then embed them onto the practice website. Organize content on the website by related categories.

By investing in patient education through a variety of mediums, providers can ensure their patients truly understand the information they are providing. This small investment will reap much larger rewards in the way of improved outcomes, patient compliance, retention, and patient satisfaction.