The success of e-learning is now well-established in all leading industries, including healthcare. For healthcare professionals, e-learning provides training and support in a variety of ways – compliance training, process training, and even on-the-job support with the help of mobiles and other handhelds.
For patients and caregivers too, who are at the other end of the spectrum in the healthcare industry, e-learning has a lot to offer. With the marked increase in discretionary income, patients now expect the best of healthcare and prefer an informed stance in dealing with an illness. Information on the treatments available, drugs and procedures, the risks, costs and outcome are vital. While every healthcare organization has available literature providing detailed information on the above, patients are often not able to perceive or understand them well to take informed decisions. This is where e-learning technologies come into play.
- An illness of any kind is daunting for an individual. For the lack of time, doctors or nurses are often unable to sit with patients and discuss their options at length with them. Misconceptions and myths concerning certain illnesses also hinder an open face-to-face discussion. Technology-enabled learning allows patients as well as caregivers to gather information at their own pace and in a secure environment.A number of strategies can be employed to put the learners at ease and help them understand their options better. For instance, we developed a course on IVF for one of India’s leading IVF specialists, where scenarios were built with real-life people, practical problems and solutions. The learners were informed about IVF, various procedures and their options with the help of these scenarios. This approach helped the patients feel more connected with the course, featuring characters that they could relate to.
Information and interactivity within an e-course can prepare patients for the meeting with the doctor. This shortens the time spent on making them understand the mundane necessities and the saved time can be better spent in actual face-to-face interactions. For instance, in a course on a debilitating gastrointestinal disorder, we included clinic forms which the patients need to fill to get treatment for the disease. Important portions of the form like healthcare insurance details, details of previous treatments and history of vaccinations were highlighted to make sure that the patients can produce these details quickly and take the minimum time to fill in the forms in a correct manner.
- Perhaps the most important benefit of technology-aided learning for healthcare patients is that it makes understanding complex procedures possible, even if he or she is a layman. Medical procedures are often complicated and, for most patients, immensely difficult to understand. With e-learning, graphics and 2D and 3D animations can be used to visually re-create complex procedures and break them down to individual steps to aid understanding. The patients have the option of re-enforcing their understanding by reading up the material whenever they need and sharing it with their family and friends as well.
- In addition to information on the illness, treatment options and procedures, technology-aided courses can also provide the much needed mental and emotional support for patients as well as their caregivers. By sharing coping mechanisms, important resources, links and practical insights that are available to patients and their families at all times, e-courses can provide long-term support. This is especially important if the treatment options have a long-term implication on the quality of a patient’s life.
- With the aid of technology, we can also create a virtual community of patients and caregivers. Discussion boards, wikis or blogs can be created inviting patients and their families to share experiences. These technology-aided forums can also double up as a searchable knowledge repository, where patients and caregivers can search for information and share it further. This will help patients in dealing with their illness better and dispel the feeling of alienation that often accompanies illness.
There are many ways of creating a technology-aided solution to help patients and their families. More and more doctors and healthcare providers are turning to these solutions to help their patients better. To know more about technology-aided healthcare solutions to suit your needs, contact us at in**@gc**********.net