HealthJuly 23, 2019

Summer wellness: Prescribing education for patients

Patient education has become a key element of the patient care and treatment experience. Whether at office visits, in care settings, or through patient portals, distributing information on conditions, medications, and follow-up care to patients has been shown to improve compliance, health literacy, and the relationship between patient and provider. In a recent survey, three-quarters of physician respondents said they associate patient education and engagement efforts with improved outcomes.

Most patient engagement tools go beyond medication adherence and test prep. To further connect with patients or consumers this summer, you might want to take a look at your patient education health and wellness library for summer-themed topics to promote in the waiting room, on your portal, or at care visits. It’s a simple way to extend relationships and conversations with patients and reinforce important health and safety advice for individuals and families at a time when many are outdoors, active, and exposed to additional risks.

Here are some seasonally appropriate examples from Wolters Kluwer:

Leaflet title: Play it safe in the sun

Sample text: You are at a higher risk for getting skin cancer when you have:

  • Fair skin. The lighter your skin, the more quickly you can get burned.
  • Hair that is light brown, blonde, or red in color
  • Blue, gray, or green eyes
  • Past sunburns
  • Unusual or a large number of moles or freckles
  • Family history of skin cancer

Leaflet title: Heat exhaustion and heat stroke discharge instructions

Sample text: Heat exhaustion happens when the temperature of the body rises between 98.6°F (37°C) which is normal, to 104°F (40°C). When working or playing in a hot and humid place for long periods your body loses fluids and salt through sweating. If you don’t replace these fluids, your body may overheat.

Leaflet title: Sunburn

Sample text: Why should I avoid getting a sunburn? — It's important to avoid getting a sunburn, because people who get a lot of sunburns have a higher chance of getting certain other problems. These include:

  • Skin cancer – There are different types of skin cancer. Most skin cancers can be treated easily. But sunburn increases the risk of getting a serious type of skin cancer, called “melanoma”
  • Wrinkles and other skin changes that usually happen when people get older
  • Eye problems called “cataracts” that can cause trouble seeing

Leaflet title: Keeping your child safe around water

Sample text: Be ready for emergencies

  • If your child is missing, check the pool immediately.
  • Make sure that your pool has life rings and reaching poles in case of an emergency.
  • Learn CPR in case an accident happens. Take a water safety class.
  • Take swimming lessons if you do not know how to swim. Start your children in swimming lessons at an early age, usually by age 4.
  • Always know about weather conditions and rip current warnings when swimming or boating.
  • Never swim alone. Use the buddy system.
  • If you have seizures, do not be in or around water alone.

Leaflet title: Bicycle safety

Sample text: Helmet - Head injuries can cause the most serious problems, so be sure you wear a helmet each time you ride. The helmet should:

  • Be made for the activity you want to do.
  • Sit low on your forehead and be level to the ground.
  • Not move when you move your head.
  • Have the front and back straps join just below your ear.
  • Buckle under your chin so it is snug. The strap should be tight enough so you can only slide two fingers between your chin and the strap.
  • Be replaced once every 5 years or if you have a crash and hit your head.

Leaflet title: Helping keep your child safe online

Sample text: The internet has changed how children learn about and relate to the world. The internet lets you reach news, tools, and people. But, as helpful and fun as the internet can be, it can also be dangerous. It is important to help a child learn what they need to do to stay safe when online. Start to talk about how to stay safe online when your child is very young and let the conversation grow as your child grows.

Leaflet title: Safety with scooters, skates, and skateboards

Sample text: Helpful tips

  • Practice basic tricks before you do bigger tricks. Don’t take too big of risks.
  • Remove sharp or hard objects from your pockets before you skate.
  • Do not ride or skate in the dark.
  • Do not wear headphones when you skate.
  • Learn how to fall the right way:
    • Crouch down when you realize you are about to fall.
    • Land on fleshy areas if possible.
    • Do not reach out to break a fall.
    • Try to relax and do not tense up.
    • Practice how to fall on a soft surface before it happens.

Leaflet title: Exercise and activity for children

Sample text: Children need different amounts of exercise, based on their age.

  • Infants have no special requirements. Activities help develop motor skills. Infants should not be inactive for more than 1 hour when they are not sleeping.
  • Toddlers should have 30 minutes of structured activity and 60 minutes of free play each day. Toddlers should not be inactive for more than 2 hours when they are not sleeping.
  • Preschoolers need 60 minutes of structured activity and 60 minutes of free play each day.
  • School age children should have at least 60 minutes of moderate activity each day. This can be broken down into 15-minute times.

Guide patients throughout their care journeys

EmmiEngage® fosters conversations beyond care settings to motivate people to take an active role in their health.