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Supporting people-centred care with Patient Education Pamphlets

by Kallen Rutledge on 2020-10-25T08:30:00-03:00 in Engage Others, Patient Pamphlet, Patient Education | Comments

In this post, learn how you and your team can work with a Patient/Family Advisor (PFA) to help make your patient pamphlets people-centred.

Nova Scotia Health pamphlets are created for patients and family members to read and use before, during, and after what are often critical points in their health care experience. Patients and their families, friends, and caregivers need to be able to understand our printed instructions and health information. Our materials should help patients to understand and follow health care directives, supporting both self-care and patient safety. To ensure our pamphlets are people-centred, we rely on you, the pamphlet content creators, to actively engage with your patient population and clientele throughout the pamphlet creation and updating process.

Pamphlet review process

We know that incorporating feedback and suggestions takes time and effort. The pamphlet review process may involve several drafts, multiple team members, and many emails back and forth between you and the Patient Education Team. This important process can greatly impact the direction of the project and the final document. This is why we strongly recommend including PFAs in your working group early in your project. 

When the need for a new pamphlet is identified, or a pamphlet is due for updating, the first step is to identify appropriate PFAs available to contribute to your pamphlet project. Let them know the scope of the project, the approximate time commitment, and how they will be asked to contribute.

Need help engaging with your patient population? Check out these Nova Scotia Health resources on public engagement: 

No time like the present

When PFAs are consulted too late in the process, it may be harder to incorporate their input or make changes to the established structure of a document. This may cause delays, which can be frustrating for all team and project members, including PFAs. When PFAs are included from the start, meaningful input can be incorporated at all stages of the project. This helps to ensure the project starts off on the right track and is in line with patients’ and family members’ expectations.

It’s also important to involve PFAs in the review stage as well, sharing a final draft with the understanding that you may receive last minute changes or valuable feedback before going to print, and having the flexibility to incorporate them. Keep in mind, when PFAs are included from the beginning, last minute changes are often small and easier to make than when they are included late in the game.

Involving PFAs in a pamphlet project

PFAs can contribute to a pamphlet project in many ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Ask them to review the pamphlet for patient-friendly messaging and tone.
  • Ask them to provide feedback on the pamphlet content.
    • Do they have any questions that were not answered in the pamphlet?
    • What information did they wish they had before or after their clinic visit?
    • Were the images in the pamphlet helpful or distracting?
  • Ask them to provide feedback on the flow of the pamphlet.
  • Ask them to provide feedback on the readability of the pamphlet—Were there medical terms that should have been explained that weren’t?
  • Ask them to complete and return a Consumer Evaluation of the pamphlet.

Remember, engagement requires both give and take. The Patient Education Team is here to support you throughout the process! We can provide feedback forms, suggest ways to support a review, and provide you with the documents you need to get started on your pamphlet project. 

To find more patient engagement resources on the Intranet, select the “Resources” tab along the top, then scroll down to the “Engagement” section.

Visit our Content Creator Toolkit or email pamphlets@nshealth.ca to get started on your pamphlet project today!

Kallen Rutledge

Librarian Educator
Nova Scotia Hospital, Central Zone


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