Patient and family education is an important responsibility of a healthcare organization. Healthcare employees who deal directly with patients help in informing them and their family members about everything related to the medical condition. Thus, it is essential that these employees are trained and given clear instructions on how to conduct this education. Patient and family education training helps the employees learn the needs of the patients and their families, which gives them an idea on what they know and don't know. This way they will be able to plan how to get crucial information across to them. Another point to consider when educating patients and families is their culture, religion, language, and other beliefs. Timing when the information is shared is also significant. The training program covers all these topics and helps employees educate the patients and their families in an appropriate manner.
It is the patient's right to know about his or her condition and treatment. Properly educating patients and their families helps them make informed medical decisions and participate in the care of the patient. Education may be done in a casual surrounding when the doctors and nurses interact with the patient, and it can also be done in a formal surrounding during rehabilitation or nutritional therapy sessions.
The standards and objectives for patient and family education have been established by the JCAHO or The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization. Although the commission does not specify the exact constitution of the training program, they want the training to be as interactive as possible to promote maximum learning for patients as well as employees.
It is clear that patient and family education training is very important. Here are some reasons why.
• Once healthcare facilities understand the needs of the patients and their families, it enables them to improve their quality of care and increase efficiency.
• Increase in healthcare costs is a growing concern for patients and their families. Appropriate education can help them save costs by informing them about their conditions and helping them with alternative options for costly treatments.
• Education encourages better compliance to rules, as the patients now understand the reasons for those rules. Also, once patients are aware of their medical conditions and what the doctors are doing to help them, it makes them less anxious and more comfortable.
• Patient education increases motivation, satisfaction, and compliance as it gets the patients involved in their own care and treatment decisions.
• Previous research has shown that using resources and materials for patient education has significantly improved communication between patients and healthcare employees.
There is no universal structure for patient and family education. The employees must customize the education pattern for every patient after considering their preferences and needs. Thus, you can see why patient and family education training is so important for employees. The training helps them become knowledgeable and develop good communication skills in order to deliver good patient education. Thus now you have the importance of patient and family education in a nutshell.