Content Creator Toolkit

Supports to help you throughout the knowledge creation process

Archiving Project 2024

Every year, the Patient Education Team identifies patient pamphlets that have not been reviewed or updated within 5 years of the last review date.

What do you need to do? 

  1. Check the list of titles that are due for reviewPlease note: this file will be updated at the end of each business day.  
  2. Complete this form to let us know you intend to update a pamphlet on the list before the April 1, 2024 deadline.
  3. Complete this form to recommend a pamphlet on the list for archiving.
  4. Share this information with your colleagues who are involved in patient education pamphlets in your area, department, unit, or clinic.
  5. If you have paper copies of pamphlets in your department or service area, please check the date on the cover and recycle copies from 2018 or before. This is to ensure patient safety is upheld. 

Routine archiving of out-of-date pamphlets is done in accordance with policy AD-LIB-001 Patient Education Materials: Development and Maintenance (Procedure 4.3), which helps ensure Nova Scotia Health patients and families receive up-to-date patient education materials. Patient pamphlets must be reviewed by the teams that created them, and/or the teams that use them, to confirm whether the pamphlets need to be updated or removed from circulation.

How can the Patient Education Team help? 

  • We can send you the latest version of the pamphlet as an MS Word document, so you can edit it easily.
  • We facilitate the review and update process for you, including: 
    • Integrating your team’s edits and feedback
    • Reviewing for plain language and readability
    • Coordinating adaptation and reprint copyright permission requests
    • Ensuring consistent messaging in line with other Nova Scotia Health materials
    • Updating layout and branding

Questions? Contact pamphlets@nshealth.ca

Patient Education Team

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 and physicians across the province in creating evidence-based, people-centered pamphlets.

Not sure where to begin? Start by reading our guidelines.

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 and your team that an update is needed. If there are any urgent updates needed, please email us.

Patient pamphlets are to be reviewed every 3 years to ensure clinical accuracy. Items that have not been reviewed in over 5 years (2018) may be removed from the collection, in order to ensure patient safety as per Nova Scotia Health policy AD-LIB-001. If you are missing an item your team uses, please let us know at pamphlets@nshealth.ca.

In support of Nova Scotia’s accessibility legislation (2017) and Nova Scotia Health’s Accessibility Plan 2023-2026, we are redesigning Library Services’ patient education pamphlets to be accessible for everyone. 

To achieve this, elements of increased accessibility are being integrated into existing processes, with new processes adopted when necessary. Changes are being made over time to meet Nova Scotia’s 2030 timeline. For example, all pamphlets are designed with accessibility in mind going forward, and existing pamphlets are redesigned for increased accessibility as they are updated. 

What changes have we already made? 

  • Alternative text is added to all included images or figures in new or updated English pamphlets
  • New review process implemented
    • Before an English pamphlet PDF is uploaded to the Nova Scotia Health website, it will be reviewed and edited for increased accessibility using Adobe Accessibility Check and a manual review of the material
  • Standard language updates
    • We have implemented changes to how text appears in our pamphlets so that it can be more easily understood by clients using screen readers
  • Prioritizing readability 
    • We ensure font size is no smaller than 14 pt for main text and 10pt for footnotes (like backmatter, "Also available in", etc.) with no exceptions. Eye Care Service pamphlets are created using large font (16pt/18pt)
    • We ensure there is sufficient whitespace between titles, paragraphs, and images
    • We ensure the template used is a good fit for the amount of information included 

How can you make your pamphlet more people-centered? 

Find these and more patient engagement resources on our Engagement guide.

Finding Pamphlets

Find Nova Scotia Health Patient Pamphlets in 2 places:

Creating, Updating, or Translating Pamphlets

Ready to get started?

  1. 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.

  2. Circulate your draft among your colleagues to review. Have a Patient Family Advisor review your draft and provide feedback. 

  3. Send your draft to pamphlets@nshealth.ca or use this form:

     

    Pamphlet Request Form

     

    The Patient Education Team will review for plain language, flow, and more. Our goal is a 6th grade reading level. 

  4. Answer questions and review edits. We will return a version of your draft for you and your team to review (let us know if you have a deadline). We will try to incorporate any feedback or edits you suggest, and continue to communicate with you as needed.  Now is the time to let us know which template you'd like us to use:
  5. Approve the final document. Once you are happy with the final product, you will be asked to approve the document using the online Patient Pamphlet Approval Form. An Nova Scotia Health staff or physician with the appropriate clinical expertise must review the content before approval. If you are approving on behalf of someone, please note this within the form. 

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. 

When it's time to update an existing pamphlet, the Patient Education Team will email to remind you and your team that an update is needed. If edits to a pamphlet are needed before the 3 year cycle, please email us to let us know. 

How do I update a pamphlet?

  • Contact pamphlets@nshealth.ca to let us know you are ready to start the updating process. We’ll send you the most recent version in a format ready for updating (MS Word). Let your manager know you are starting this process so they are ready to review and approve, if needed.
  • Review using  'Track Changes' in Word (.doc, .docx) or add comments as 'Sticky Notes' to a PDF (.pdf), so that we can quickly see your edits. Check things like contact information and clinic hours, make sure your instructions are up-to-date, etc. Please do not add any formatting, regardless of how you'd like the final version to look like. Tell us if it needs formatting changes and we will make these for you. Share with your team members and Patient Family Advisors for input and feedback.
  • When it's ready for us to implement the changes, send it back to us at pamphlets@nshealth.ca. We will review for plain language once again, and take note of any formatting needed. 
  • Review the final changes and have a manager or supervisor authorize the update using the Patient Pamphlet Approval Form. If you are approving on behalf of someone, please note this within the form. 

Tips for updating a pamphlet:

In a province as diverse as Nova Scotia, every Nova Scotia Health department, clinic, and service area can benefit from having their patient education materials available in a language other than English. We currently have pamphlets available in Arabic, French, Simplified Chinese, Mi'kmaw and Russian.

The Patient Education Pamphlets Team is available to help support the translation of any Nova Scotia Health pamphlet, and will guide your team through the process. We handle the request, formatting, and processing of every new and updated pamphlet translation.  

 

To request a translation:

Once an English pamphlet is finalized and published in the Patient Education Pamphlets collection:

  • Let the Patient Education Pamphlets Team know you would like the item translated, and into what language(s).
  • Indicate which cost centre is to be invoiced, if charges apply.

Ordering Pamphlets

 

To order print copies of any Nova Scotia Health Patient Education Pamphlet: 

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 Patient Education Resources or when you browse the Print Code Index. 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 a Dal Printing & Digital Copying Services Requisition Form. Complete this form based on your zone, using the links below.  

If you wish to get a quote before submitting your print order, please contact print.nsha@dal.ca. 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. Therefore, it is not recommended to order copies in large quantities.

Printing & Sharing Pamphlets

To print a Nova Scotia Health Pamphlet: 

We know that sometimes you may need to print a few copies using your office printer. Although this is not the recommended way to print bulk copies, here's a few things to remember when printing pamphlets this way:

  1.  Always make sure you print using the online link.
    • Search for the item on the Print Code Index, or Patient Education Resources, then print the PDF within your browser. 
    • Why? Our links never change. When you access a pamphlet online, you know you are viewing the most recent version of the pamphlet. When you print a pamphlet saved off your desktop, unless you downloaded it moments before, you may not be printing the most recent version of the item.
  2. Tri-fold pamphlets (formatted to be folded in thirds) always have two links to view the pamphlet (1 for easy reading, 1 for easy printing).
    • Find the "Printer-Friendly Version" link found on the Patient Education Resources.
    • In the Print window, select, 'Flip on short edge'.

Remember: If your unit, clinic, or department often use print copies of pamphlets with your clients, you are encouraged to order copies from Dalhousie Printing Services using your cost center, following the instructions outlined above under, Ordering Pamphlets.

Pamphlets and other patient education materials were meant to be shared!

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 support digital access for your patients and their families?

  • Know the web address (url) to the pamphlets you regularly provide to your patients and families. These can be easily found here: https://www.nshealth.ca/patientinformation or here: https://library.nshealth.ca/Pamphlets
  • Share the links to your most frequently used pamphlets on your Nova Scotia Health programs and services page: http://www.nshealth.ca/services
  • Share the links to your most frequently used pamphlets on your Nova Scotia Health Library Services Subject Guide
  • Patients and families aren't the only ones who use pamphlets - remind your team about your most frequently used pamphlets and ways to share them with patients and families, too! Ask us about creating an accessible page for your team to find your most used pamphlets all in once place.