Patient and Family education is very essential as it gives patients an opportunity to become involved in their own care and make knowledgeable health care decisions. Several healthcare employees are involved in educating patients and their families. Patients are educated during casual interaction between themselves and their physicians or nurses. Other times, education takes place during specific services like nutrition or rehabilitation therapy and continuous patient care.
As healthcare employees help in the education of patients and their families, it is important that they receive some sort of training. Patient and Family Education Training is aimed at giving the employees brief guidelines about how to educate patients and families. The first step in effective education is assessment of the learning needs of the patient and the family. Through this assessment, employees get an idea about what patients need to learn and how this can be best taught to them. Learning can only be effective when it is in accordance with the patient's learning preferences, cultural and religious values, and language and reading skills. It is also essential that is given at the right time in a patient's care process. All these things are taught to the employees in the Patient and Family Education Training.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has set certain standards for Patient and Family Education which healthcare organizations need to comply with for accreditation. The standards do not specify any particular structure for this education.
Their main objective is that the healthcare organizations must be able to show that the education philosophy they carry out represents education as an interactive course, wherein both patients and healthcare employees can learn something.
Healthcare organizations now understand the benefits of patient education, including patient satisfaction and safety. Here are some important benefits of Patient and Family Education.
* In the present-day healthcare situation, patient education can counter the increase in healthcare costs by lowering the expenses and enabling patients to understand and manage costly chronic conditions and treatments.
* Patient and Family Education programs can help healthcare organizations improve the quality of care and produce better outcomes.
* Education is effective in helping the patients and their families understand complex medical conditions, thereby increasing compliance to instructions and lowering anxiety levels.
* Patient education through educational materials and resources has been known to improve health and improve communication between healthcare staff and patients.
* Because patient education encourages patients to become involved in their own treatment decisions, it increases satisfaction, motivation, adherence, and empowerment.
The content for patient education must be customized for each patient keeping in mind their specific needs and cultural preferences. Effective patient education results from the proven and comprehensive solutions that are set up by the healthcare organizations after a lot of thought, and integrated into the appropriate points in the healthcare delivery system.
It is essential the healthcare professionals are trained about the proper approach to patient education. To educate patients and families effectively they should have sufficient knowledge of the subject, be willing to teach, and have good communicate skills.