Creating reliable and informative video content for patients
The digital evolution has dramatically shifted the healthcare landscape. Australians are taking charge of their own health care more than ever and want trusted information to bring greater clarity and simplicity to their own healthcare decisions.
The ever-increasing demand for quality, engaging information is providing opportunities for hospitals and healthcare services to create real and authentic content that connects and informs their patients. We know that most patients will Google everything, so why not give them trustworthy and reliable content that they can watch?
Ideally, video should be central to all patient engagement. For many chronic conditions, the landscape of treatment options and medications is often cluttered, confusing and complex. People who are suffering from a chronic health condition can experience a broad range of emotions (shock, confusion, anger, fear, anxiety) and physical symptoms are often concurrent with their emotional state.
“Doubt, worry, anxiety. This is me since my diagnosis. I’m suffering. I really need to know more and feel more understood.” These are the feelings of many Australians diagnosed with a chronic health condition.
Ultimately, patients want to feel understood, understand what is going on and be given hope. Video is an excellent patient engagement tool that can help to put patients’ minds at ease. Here are some of the benefits:
In the same boat
By watching a patient case study video of someone with the same condition, viewers can learn more, feel less alone and acquire a greater sense of control. For example, a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and prescribed a certain treatment may seek out a video of another woman who has undergone a similar treatment. Stories that are relatable give us identity and hope. The same applies to carers.
Finding simplicity in complexity
When people are in the early stages of diagnosis or undergoing treatment, informative video content can help patients navigate their healthcare journey in a more positive way. Clear and simple videos can translate complex medical concepts and terminology into digestible content.
An informative and friendly ‘walk through’ video for pre-admission/pre-treatment that explains processes such as paperwork, online registration, medication, arrival, pre-theatre and general surgery/treatment information can help ease patient anxieties about what to expect from the healthcare experience. Explanatory videos can also unburden doctors and support staff from having to repeat the same information for each patient.
Videos as engagement tools
Patient videos that focus on disease education can be excellent engagement tools. Patients invest time in researching their medical conditions, treatments and side effects so equipping them with information that can assist them along the way is not only helpful in reducing worry and anxiety but also assists healthcare professionals by having calmer, well-informed patients.
Research has shown that educational videos can improve health literacy, self-efficacy and patient satisfaction. Increased knowledge and empowerment can lead to positive health behaviour change. (PLoS One, Denny et al.)
Specialists and healthcare professionals often report having to spend a long time explaining general hospital and surgical procedures to patients. Whilst patient–specialist face-to-face communication is vital, patients often report that they feel unsure and overwhelmed after specialist appointments. Video can equip them with knowledge and information that alleviates fear and uncertainty and helps make their health journey a more positive and empowered experience.
Denny M. et al. Video-based educational intervention associated with improved stroke literacy, self-efficacy, and patient satisfaction. PLoS One. 2017 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171952.
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