Helpful Tips for Tackling Complex Patient Pamphlet Projects

by Carmen Dorey on 2018-06-04T12:15:00-03:00 in Patient Pamphlet, Patient Education | Comments

Creating or updating a complex patient pamphlet can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some helpful tips:

  • Build your team: Invite colleagues with the needed expertise. Meet with your team to establish roles. Choose one person to be the primary liaison to the Patient Education Team and to keep track of progress.
  • Divide up the work: Flesh out major sections. Assign each section to one or two people. This will break the work up into manageable chunks.
  • Focus on content: Remind your team not to spend time on formatting tables, adding logos, or finding images. This work is done by the Patient Education Team. Please contact the Patient Education Team with any questions about these areas.
  • Set deadlines: Plan when sub-groups should have work completed and returned to the team. Deadlines hold team members accountable and keep the project moving.
  • Give the team time to review sections: When a sub-group completes a section, have all of the team members review it and bring their suggestions to the next team meeting. Using ‘Track Changes’ in Microsoft Word to make edits saves time, as the team will be able to see what was changed and by whom.
  • Meet as needed: Have the team meet regularly and stay on track during meetings. A meeting agenda may include a list of sections that have been drafted and circulated for feedback. Review the sections together to make sure they are complete. Your primary liaison should keep the team on task.
  • Keep large projects moving: When a section is completed (or almost completed), send it to the Patient Education Team. Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect; you will get a chance to edit it again after it’s formatted. Waiting until all sections are complete holds up the process; it is best to work in chunks so that any issues with copyright or images can be tackled early on. This also means that you may have more productive team meetings, as some sections may be easier to do than others, and it can be encouraging to see progress being made.
  • Use built-in PDF annotation tools: When your team receives a PDF from the Patient Education Team, make it mandatory that team members use digital ‘Sticky Notes’ to show edits. This speeds up the process for the Patient Education Team by clearly showing where edits have been made in lengthy documents. See “How do I edit a PDF?” for further information.

When all sections have been completed and approved by your team, the Patient Education Team will assign a print code and post the pamphlet online. Edits can be made as needed in the future to keep your content up-to-date. For more information on patient pamphlets, contact the Patient Education Team.

Carmen Dorey

Library Technician, Patient Pamphlets
Nova Scotia Hospital, Central Zone

Lara Killian


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