In the shift toward team-based healthcare, nurse practitioners and other non-MD healthcare professionals are taking on more responsibilities, and companies are responding with new resources and technologies to help them do their jobs.
But how much of this new technology is being used with patients? HealthEd Academy asked 155 “health extenders” — that means nurses, nurse practitioners, health educators, social workers and registered dietitians — how they are using technology to educate patients. Their responses reinforced a few of the trends we’ve noticed.
- Most interaction with patients is still done offline. All but 5 percent of HealthEd Academy’s respondents said they used printed handouts for patient education.
- But, online is definitely starting to play more of a role. More than half of the survey’s respondents said they print out information from the Web to give to patients, and more than 80 percent in private practice said they referred patients to online sources. Only 3 percent said technology causes distractions or obstacles
- Tablets are changing work flow in healthcare. Only three in 10 extenders said they had tablets, but twice as many wish they did.
- Video is an important component of patient education and engagement. 44 percent of professionals surveyed said they used YouTube videos for patient education. Companies like healthe360 and Clear.MD have jumped on that opportunity and created ways for patients to connect and learn through video.