Can you really educate patients in the waiting room?

Educating patients in medical waiting rooms has been a hot topic of late, but many still wonder whether patients will take advantage it.

A recent study of both medical and dental waiting rooms found that 61% of patients do pay attention to waiting room education, especially if it is delivered via waiting room TV or audio messages.

Bar graph on patients preference for learning on waiting room TVs.

Unfortunately, merely providing a preferred method of patient education doesn’t guarantee understanding. Of the patients surveyed, 46% had difficulty understanding medical terms in the health information.

The takeaway: You can educate patients in the waiting room. But the delivery method is important, and the content must be written on a patient-friendly level for greatest understanding. Doing so actually cuts back on the number of questions patients ask you during their visit, while making the ones they do ask more meaningful.

For more information, read the full study on the Journal of Dental Research and Review web site.