As part of our ongoing efforts in the pharmaceutical field, we are taking a look at how we as a creative company can assist in patient education and support programs. Patients will always benefit from having a good understanding of their condition and how it functions. Being informed means being empowered, and it encourages patients to take ownership of their treatment, taking a collaborative approach alongside healthcare providers. This means adhering to treatment concisely (for example, taking medication on time or following diet and exercise advice) because they understand how it benefits their care. Better adherence generally means the treatment will be more effective. This not only results in a healthier, happier outcome but also makes treatment more cost-effective as it means less GP appointments and hospital trips and lessens the likelihood of further treatments.
One of the main problems with this lies in the disconnection between doctor and patient. Research indicates that clinicians will tend to underestimate their patient’s needs for information and overestimate their ability to communicate effectively. In one study, up to 80% of information given during a medical appointment was forgotten immediately, while another study showed that 50% of information retained was incorrect. It is clear then how misunderstanding on both sides leads to poor adherence to treatment and thereby a worse outcome for the patient. Increasingly, nurses are taking on the responsibilities of patient education in place of physicians who may have a better understanding of the condition at hand. Patients who feel confused or uninformed are also highly likely to research their condition online from unqualified resources where the potential for misinformation is rife.
This is where Collaborate can supply creative resources to help bridge the gap between patient and healthcare provider. We have already produced several children’s books to be used as part of patient support programs, covering conditions such as multiple myeloma, Fabry disease and Hunter’s syndrome. These are to help patients understand their condition and/or to explain it to their families and loved ones, who often play a crucial role in treatment and recovery. We also have the ability to produce educational tools in different formats such as puzzles, games and animated videos. The potential for motion graphics is huge as short videos may be considered one of the most comprehensive educational tools for patients. It provides better results for short-term retention of information than written formats, and it surpasses issues arising from a patients reading age or attention deficit issues.
That being said, different patients have different learning styles and while some patients benefit by learning from videos, other patients will suit a more interactive approach such as reading or game-play. Including puzzles or activities introduces a ‘teach-back’ method in which a patient is given tools to describe their condition themselves, and this helps to highlight any misunderstandings they may otherwise not have vocalized. Collaborate is equipped to deliver teaching tools in a variety of formats to suit any situation requirement. We are experienced and prepared to take on new challenges in the pharmaceutical field, with innovative results that will benefit patients and healthcare providers alike.