For many, it can seem like health care providers are speaking another language. This is just one of the reasons why it is important to offer additional support to patients and families with easy-to-read, straightforward patient education materials.
The Patient Education Team is available to support Nova Scotia Health staff & physicians across the province in creating evidence-based, people-centered pamphlets. Please note: The information and instructions on this page do not apply to Cancer Care or IWK patient education materials. Please connect with these individual teams for further support.
Check out some of our resources on creating content for patient education materials:
Forget the formatting (this includes font, bullet styles, tables, layout, etc.). Create your draft using a standard 8.5"x11" Microsoft Word document - regardless of how the final version will look.
Develop a draft using a standard 8.5"x11" Microsoft Word document. The Patient Education Team uses standard formatting within design software to align with Nova Scotia Health branding and style. Most formatting is removed during our review so that we can easily edit and manipulate the content.
Circulate your draft among your colleagues to review. Have a Patient Family Advisor review your draft and provide feedback.
Send your draft to email@example.com. The Patient Education Team will review for plain language, flow, and more. Our goal is a 6th grade reading level.
Once your pamphlet is ready to go, we will let you know and send you everything you need to access the pamphlet online or to order print copies.
Did you know? NSHA Policy AD-LIB-001 Patient Education Materials: Development and Maintenance recommends that pamphlets be reviewed & updated every 3 years, or sooner if needed.
Keeping your content up to date helps provide patients with access to current, evidence-based information, in line with both Nova Scotia Health policy and practice. This helps patients understand and follow health care directives, supporting both self-care and patient safety.
When it's time to update an existing pamphlet, the Patient Education Team will email to remind you that an update is needed.
1. Find the pamphlet print code.
Every pamphlet has a unique alpha-numeric print code assigned to it. You can find this code online, when you search Nova Scotia Health Library Services' catalogue. If you have a printed copy of a pamphlet, you'll find the print code on the back cover, in the lower left corner, with two letters and six numbers: XX85-####. The four digit number at the end of the print code is unique to that pamphlet title.
2. To order bulk copies, complete and submit the Dal Print Shop Ordering Form (requisition form).
If you wish to get a quote before submitting your print order, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Print Shop can ship print copies anywhere in Nova Scotia. Please note, there may be a shipping fee depending on your location.
Please keep in mind, content is frequently updated and therefore it is not recommended to order copies in large quantities.
Now more than ever, patients and families are accessing health information on the web, using their smartphone, tablet, or computer. Did you know that all Nova Scotia Health patient materials can be viewed and downloaded to their devices any time, anywhere? Patient materials are already formatted for mobile view.
How can you make your pamphlet more people-centered? We recommend including Patient/Family Advisors (PFAs) in your working group.
The following Nova Scotia Health resources may help you and your team better engage with your patients and families:
Find these and more patient engagement resources on our Engagement guide.