5 Misconceptions about Nova Scotia Health Patient Pamphlets

by Vinson Li on 2023-03-13T08:30:00-03:00 in Health literacy, Patient Pamphlet, Patient Education | 0 Comments

In the fall of 2021, the Patient Education Team invited staff and physicians to participate in a short online survey, as part of a service quality improvement initiative. With the approval of the Central Zone Quality Improvement and Safety Council, the survey was released on November 1, 2021, and ran until we received submissions from a minimum number of participants (20) in each zone.

Here are the top 5 misconceptions staff have about Nova Scotia Health Patient Pamphlets and the Pamphlets service:

  1. You can search for pamphlets on the Intranet.

FALSE Nova Scotia Health’s patient pamphlets collection is not available on the Intranet.

Staff and patients can find pamphlets on 3 public-facing websites:

The Patient Education Team does not post pamphlets on the Intranet and recommends that you don’t either. Why? We can’t manage items (version control) posted on the Intranet (including SharePoint sites) by individual teams. This means that when a pamphlet is removed from the collection or the title changes, the pamphlet posted on the Intranet will become out of date.

Teams should become familiar with searching the 3 resources listed above to find patient pamphlets. We’ve created these handy instructions to help you get started.

  1. No one ever updates their pamphlets.

FALSE Last fiscal year (2021-2022), we helped staff update 217 pamphlets.

To keep items up to date, as per policy AD-LIB-100, the Patient Education Team sends reminder emails to pamphlet creators/owners once an item is 3 years old.

If the item still has not been updated in 5 years, we send another reminder, giving creators/owners 3 months to initiate a review. If the item is still not updated after 3 months, the item is removed from circulation (archived), creating a gap in patient education. Once the creator/owner has reviewed the content and updated the item, the pamphlet can be brought back into circulation.

  1. Pamphlets are only available in English.

FALSE Working with French Language Services and Nova Scotia Health Interpretation and Language Services, the Patient Education Team supports the translation of pamphlets into French, Arabic, and Simplified Chinese. Currently in the collection, there are:

  • French: 235 titles
  • Arabic: 19 titles
  • Simplified Chinese: 6 titles

To find all available translated titles, search the collection using the Library Services website or the pamphlets listing page and limit your search by ‘Language'.

  1. The Patient Education Team authors pamphlet content.

FALSE We rely on the clinical expertise of creators/owners to author patient pamphlets. Staff and physicians develop pamphlets for whatever topic they identify a need. Do you have a topic in mind, but can’t find anything in the collection? Email Pamphlets@nshealth.ca to find out if something already exists in our active or archived collections.

If nothing exists, you can work with your team to draft a pamphlet. For more information about the process, check out the library's Content Creator Toolkit and our tips on creating a pamphlet.

  1. Most pamphlets apply only to Central Zone or Halifax area, Eastern Shore and West Hants.

FALSE Nova Scotia Health Policy AD-LIB-100 and the Patient and Family Education Material Guidelines (2021) both stipulate that all pamphlets should be developed for provincial use when and where possible.

Prior to the amalgamation of the regional health authorities in Nova Scotia, the Pamphlets service was a Capital Health (now known as Central Zone) service. As such, many of the pamphlets in the current collection originated in Central Zone. Since the amalgamation, all pamphlets applicable for a provincial audience are published as such.

As pamphlets are updated, our goal is to create items that are applicable for provincial use, unless the content of the pamphlet contains site-specific information, or the creator/owner clearly identifies the pamphlet only for a specific site or zone’s use.

For more information:

Vinson Li

Librarian Educator, Patient Education Pamphlets Lead
Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Western Zone

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