Addressing the Forgotten 50%: The Key to Better Patient Education

June 8, 2023
Doctor's hand

Adherence to treatment plans is crucial for achieving positive health outcomes. However, according to researchers at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, 50% of patients forget their treatment plans after discharge. This forgetfulness and subsequent lack of adherence lead to reduced treatment effectiveness, increased healthcare costs, and poorer outcomes. To boost post-discharge treatment plan adherence, patients require improved education and engagement.

Several factors contribute to patients' inability to remember treatment plans effectively. The complex information provided during inpatient stays leaves patients feeling overloaded and confused. Also, low health literacy and language barriers make it even more difficult for patients to understand and remember this information. Time constraints during clinical rounds further exacerbate the problem, as patients need more time to comprehend information and thoroughly think of important questions. Moreover, patients' anxiety and stress associated with their health condition further hinder their ability to absorb and retain treatment details.

The Importance of Patient Education
Patient education is pivotal in improving treatment plan adherence and patient outcomes. By receiving clear and concise information about their condition, treatment options, and expected outcomes, patients feel empowered to take an active role in their care. Educated patients are more likely to understand the rationale behind their treatment plans, make informed decisions, and adhere to prescribed therapies.

Strategies to Enhance Patient Education
To address the issue of treatment plan forgetfulness, healthcare systems and providers must adopt strategies that enhance patient education and engagement. A few solutions include:

  1. Implement Digital Health Platforms: Leveraging technology, such as mobile applications, can enhance patient engagement and education. These platforms provide patients with access to personalized treatment information, reminders, and educational resources.
  2. Simplify Communication: Healthcare providers should strive to communicate information in a simplified and jargon-free manner. Breaking down complex medical terms and concepts into easily understandable language helps patients grasp the details more effectively.
  3. Utilize Visual Aids: Visual aids such as diagrams, infographics, and videos can significantly enhance patient understanding. These tools help patients visualize complex concepts, treatment procedures, and medication schedules.
  4. Follow Up: Follow-up calls, emails, or text messages can reinforce the treatment plan, allow patients to ask questions, and address concerns.

The high rate of treatment plan forgetfulness among patients highlights the urgent need for improved patient education strategies within healthcare systems. By implementing digital health technology, simplifying communication, utilizing visual aids, and consistently following up, healthcare systems and providers can empower patients to better understand and adhere to their treatment plans. A patient-centric approach that prioritizes effective education and engagement will ultimately lead to improved treatment effectiveness, reduced healthcare costs, and better health outcomes.


About Diya Health

Diya Health is a Software-as-a-Service digital health platform company that enables health systems to deliver higher throughput and increased efficiency by proactively engaging patients, families, and caregivers. Diya leverages a state-of-the-art three-pronged approach to achieve this goal: 1. Automation of administrative and repetitive tasks, 2. A fully integrated multi-lingual messaging platform for 360° communication and collaboration, and 3. An AI-driven, predictive, and adaptive workflow engine.