Schooley, B., Singh, A., Hikmet, N., Brookshire, R., & Patel, N. (2020). Integrated Digital Patient Education at the Bedside for Patients with Chronic Conditions: Observational Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8(12), e22947
Patient education delivered by a health care provider increases patients’ understanding and adherence to medical instructions, which helps to improve patient health. Multiple challenges exist to delivering effective patient education to patients with multiple chronic conditions, including giving the necessary time, range, and types of learning materials, and assessing the level of understanding. To help overcome these challenges, it is important to study new electronic means to assist in patient education, such as the use of mobile devices, interactive media, 3-dimensional images, and multimedia educational content at the bedside.
The goal of this study was to address the need for blended learning strategies combining technical and workflow integration of digital patient education systems for patients with chronic conditions within and across the regular process of care. Studies are needed to evaluate the utility and benefits of these technologies for providers and patients alike.
A mixed-methods approach was employed including survey administration to 178 patients after they received digital patient education in person with a health care provider, and qualitative interviews with 16 nurse educators who used the mobile digital health education technology to deliver instruction to patients. Patient survey data were analyzed using chi-square statistical tests. Qualitative interviews were analyzed for user acceptance and perceived value themes.
Patients who were counseled using a blended digital health education approach reported improved understanding of educational content (P=.034) and chronic health conditions (P<.001), were more motivated to care for themselves at home (P<.001), were more likely to say that they felt capable of making health care decisions with their doctors (P<.001) and on their own (P=.001), and were more likely to report their intention to follow their doctor’s instructions (P<.001) than were patients whose education was not computer-based. Nurse educators felt that the digital education system and content enhanced their education efforts and could be easily integrated into the outpatient clinical workflow.
Patient education for individuals with chronic conditions may be more effective than traditional formats when provided in blended digital formats supervised by a health care provider.