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Electronic Resources & Tools for Patient Education


Information technology is an innovative and driving force behind the modernization of the healthcare system. The focus of technological development in clinical applications has become centered around patient care. One of the critical components of delivering high-quality healthcare is patient education. Information systems help to establish a database combining patient data, nursing informatics, and the most recent research. A nurse can use these tools and provide the patient with access to the information to enhance the quality of care. The process of patient education is an area of improvement for many healthcare facilities. Evidence shows that patient education affects re-admission rates, length of stay, and the psychological comfort of patients and their families (Cassano, 2014). These aspects are critical to the competency of hospital operations and help reduce the burden at a time of increased pressure on the healthcare industry.

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The information systems and technological tools focused on patient education use websites or application programs on standard devices such as smartphones, tablets, and televisions. The patient and their family can access the database to understand more about any health concerns or illnesses as well as the treatments and medications that are given to them. The material is presented in a comprehensible, interesting, and interactive way so that the patient can gain a clear understanding of the process. New healthcare regulations push for greater participation of patients in the decision-making process regarding the treatments. It is critical to provide tools to facilitate an understanding simply and efficiently. Nurses, who are faced with the challenging task of patient education and comfort, benefit significantly from the implementation of patient education.

A constant flow of modern media influences the perception of health care, possibly misleading, frightening, or confusing patients. A unified information system tool focused on patient education gives medical professionals a medium to relay current and accurate data to the patient and their family. It helps with time management and improves the competence of patients for decision-making as the education program will familiarize the person with the topic without long sessions provided by the hospital staff (Pirhonen, Silvennoinen, & Sillence, 2014). The implementation of patient education information systems should focus on practical applications that achieve the maximum strategic function of providing information to patients in an efficient manner.

A study was conducted amongst surgery recovery patients to assess an electronic health platform that included a content management system on mobile tablet devices. The content provided educational and timely modules as part of the daily plan of care in recovery post-cardiac surgery. The mean age of the patients was 68 years of age with an average 5.3-day hospitalization. Adult education is considered most effective when the content is customized to individual needs and presented over several sessions. Medical procedures, especially in surgery recovery, may result in patient pain, fatigue, and nausea. These aspects of presentation and reception significantly impact traditional methods of patient education via written material and nurse communication.

Furthermore, inconsistencies of provider-dependent material and methods of communication result in difficulties for patients to comprehend and remember the information. An innovative information system used in this study was created to aid patients in self-educating based on their level of comfort. They had full control of what information to review and when. The program provided personalized information based on the recovery process and medical conditions, outlying a daily plan, and self-assessment. This allowed integration with the medical procedures that would most likely occur during the day. The study concludes that amongst the participants, 84% of modules were delivered which suggests a high participation rate, despite the older age of the patients. Overall, the system proved feasible as it shows increased interest in patient education if the information system is optimized, highly consumable, and relevant to the patient experiences (Cook, Moradkhani, Douglas, Prinsen, Fischer, & Schroeder, 2014). It offers a dynamic and modular approach to the healthcare model that eliminated various barriers to instruction via traditional methods.

Personal Experience

I encountered the use of a patient education information system when volunteering at my community hospital. I served as an administrative aide but observed the experiences of the nurses and patients in the hospital environment. The facility had just introduced an innovative system based on iPad tablets focusing on patient engagement and interactivity. At an appropriate point after hospitalization, a nurse offered a chance to use the device for education with an interactive, visual, and self-paced interface. Nurses emphasized that the devices were intuitive to use at any age or level of understanding. Patients could always request support or instructions on how to use the device or the educational program.

The implementation was successful as patients felt the devices served a method of distraction therapy while outlining the information necessary for competent decision-making in medical and lifestyle choices. Nurses felt that the overall clinical practice was enhanced, allowing for better time-management and improved focus. Negative aspects that I observed are issues related to the staff inexperience with a new system. There were numerous technical and logistical issues in providing the device to patients. Furthermore, nurses felt that the information system was severely underdeveloped and continued to present distractions with patients experiencing issues that could not be easily fixed. There was a concern that nurses are personally responsible for the devices in case of theft or accident since they had to check them out to patients. These things could be improved with better technological testing before implementation in a hospital environment. Nurses should be provided with comprehensive training on the information system. Finally, there should be a set of policies in place which relieve nurses of the responsibilities in fixing or tracking the devices.

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Patient education information systems are a highly effective method to deliver personalized and high-quality patient care with the use of electronic devices and specially developed programs. It serves as a medium of patient-provider communication and engages patients in acquiring relevant and accurate information to aid in the decision-making process. Also, the technology can act as tools for diagnostics, reference, and mental support as patients understand the medical procedures related to their illness that would occur during and after their hospitalization. Studies show that comprehensive and targeted implementation is successful and increases participation while eliminating barriers that arise with traditional patient education.

Having a background in patient education information systems allows me as a nurse to advocate for the introduction of such technology at my workplace. As education is a critical component of nursing duty, the information system will aid significantly in working with patients and their families. Nurses often struggle with proactively fulfilling the necessary duties due to the overwhelming amount of time spent on challenging and prolonged tasks of relaying information to a patient. Also, nurses are expected to participate in training and research. Traditional face-to-face meetings are susceptible to miscommunication, lack of comprehension, and disruption by emergencies (Patmon, Gee, Rylee, Readdy, 2016). As a nurse, the implementation of technology to aid with the time-consuming concept of practice can help to focus on more critical duties. If I am in a facility where similar technology is utilized, through my nursing practice, I will attempt to engage patients in using the information system resources. This will raise the patient understanding and increase the overall satisfaction with the quality of healthcare provided during hospitalization.


Cassano, C. (2014). The right balance – Technology and patient care. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 18(3). Web.

Cook, D., Moradkhani, A., Douglas, K., Prinsen, S., Fischer, E., & Schroeder, D. (2014). Patient education self-management during surgical recovery: Combining mobile (iPad) and a content management system. Telemedicine and e-health, 20(4), 312-317. Web.

Patmon, F., Gee, P., Rylee, T., & Readdy, N. (2016). Using interactive patient engagement technology in clinical practice: A qualitative assessment of nurses’ perceptions. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(11). Web.

Pirhonen, A., Silvennoinen, M., & Sillence, E. (2014). Patient education as an information system healthcare tool and interaction. Journal of Information Systems Education, 25(4), 327-332. Web.

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