Flip No. 5

Connect patients with resources that resonate

Information should be prescribed as readily as medication.

By Flip the Clinic

Knowledge is a key component of a patient’s health—just as essential as a regular check up and medication. When patients don’t have enough knowledge about a diagnosis or a certain prescription, they’re less likely to follow through with a treatment plan. In fact, half of all patients taking medications don’t take them as prescribed.

According to a World Health Organization report, “increasing the effectiveness of adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of the population than any improvement in specific medical treatments.”

The barriers that get in the way of patient follow through are complex. They include difficult access to clinics, complicated drug regimens, and lack of involvement in health decision-making. Patient education plays a major role. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, patients only retain half of the information they receive in the clinic. If the reasons for taking a certain medication are unclear, so are the consequences for not taking it.

Patient education should be prescribed as an essential part of a treatment plan, right next to medication. Some sources are better than others. The materials should be patient-centered and evidence-based, of course, but to do the most for patients, the resources should also be engaging, robust, and offer a range of information delivery options for a single topic.

Here’s a short list of resources ready for the prescription pad.

Case Study

In a review article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2011, the authors found that patient education is a key component of medication adherence: "Effective patient education must be multifactorial, individualized, and delivered in a variety of methods and settings outside of the examining room."

Knowledge Prescription

Criteria for inclusion

Patient-centered / Evidence-based / Engaging / Robust / Diverse in the way it delivers information

Additional Resources

Do you know of more resources that should be included? Write them down in the comments, and if they meet the criteria for inclusion, we'll add them to the list.


  • Susannah Fox

    How about also providing a list of suggested key word searches — or combinations? It might bring the secret Dr. Googling that most people do (sitting right there in the waiting room, on their phones) out into the open and give people a sense of empowerment to boot.

  • Emily Kramer-Golinkoff

    By understanding how each one of us wants and is most likely to obtain the information and then providing a variety of different suggestions (reliable websites, online communities/forums, videos, patient mentorship programs, and journal articles).

    Also, by respecting that we’re dealing with a lot and often operating in overload (emotionally, cognitively and physically), so it just might take some time to get to a place where we’re ready to start investigating and learning more. Please be understanding that that’s ok too.

  • disqus_s18WFM2FBN

    Risk bites has a great video on HPV vaccine….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xnoTXzP0qs&feature=youtu.be

    • Michael Painter

      Hi (We can’t see your name–so I can’t respond with a personal greeting)–but I agree. This video is the one kind of resource that patients and health professionals could use to help patients and families understand more about a condition or intervention. Here the video is trying to help the patient grapple with the question about the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine–or as the video says, “If you could take a shot to prevent cancer, would you?” I personally think it’s a great video–nicely done–and addresses that question in a thoughtful way. What was it about this video that you liked? Why did you select this one to post on Flip #5? How would you see doctors or nurses using this video to help patients?

  • @hieditor

    We have created a hix (health information prescription) that we call the hi view – a one window view of recommended consumer health information resources – programs, online resources, events, public library books & databases, and videos. Local consumers have told us they want to know more about what is available to them in their own communities and less about what is not available to them (e.g. health care for us Canadians is quite different from our neighbours across the border and across the ocean). When individual health organizations only promote their own programs and resources, online health information becomes orphaned and difficult to locate. Don’t get me started on the number of sparsely populated health event calendars one community can have… It really makes sense to create a “virtual grab bag” of consumer health information, very similar to what we used to collect at local community health fairs. I like our hix better because it’s curated by a human not an algorithm! It’s also updated real time, interactive and environmentally friendly!!!!

    • Michael Painter

      hieditor–great resource and post. Thanks! Love the Information therapy idea. I wonder if others have great resources they might highlight too? Any US-based? Consider posting on FTC.

      • @hieditor

        Thanks Michael – really trying hard to find the best way to bring that “virtual bag of health info.” to local residents – lots of great resources on Internet but many become orphaned so we are looking at ways to put together that “hix” so that older adults with multiple chronic conditions don’t have to “hunt and gather” but can have health info. already curated and easily accessible so they are fast forwarded to understanding their health, connecting with local programs and sharing info. with others – check us out http://www.consumerhealthinfo.ca

  • http://uclaibd.com/ UCLAibd

    Here at UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, we have a personalized online Wellness Program called eIBD. It is designed to educate and empower patients to take control of their disease management. This program is accessible 24/7 through any computer, iPad, or our most recent or iOS/Android Smartphone app

    (UCLAeIBD – http://www.uclaibd.com/eIBDapp.php)

    We highly encourage our patients to learn more about their
    condition. The eIBD application has several modules to help control and assess
    disease activity. Along with measuring health, we also have a feature that
    educates patients about their specific disease. We put a great amount of work
    into developing MyAcademy which helps patients learn more about their disease, treatment options, medications, diagnostic testing, and much more pertaining to
    Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    Through observation we have seen that the first IBD diagnostic clinic
    visit is the most difficult. The emotional shock hinders the patient to fully
    understand their disease during that first visit. Extent of their disease must
    first be understood, we then provide the patient with our eIBD educational
    platform (My Academy) to learn more about the general and specific aspects of
    Crohn’s or Colitis. Learning can occur on their own time.

    Since our educational resource launched we noticed an increased
    adherence among our patient base. Positive and negative feedback helps us
    progress to develop a thorough yet understandable educational platform. We
    invite the Flip the Clinic community to take a look at the IBD Center’s
    Value-Based Health Care program, which is the new chronic disease management
    model for the UCLA Health system.


  • Steve Leuck

    As stated in the State Operations manual from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “The education and training provided to the patient or the patient’s caregiver by the hospital must be tailored to the patient’s identified needs related to medication.” This includes, providing education tailored to the specific learning ability of the patient. Many individuals are challenged with literacy or visual impairment.

    AudibleRx offers Consumer Medication Information in audible format as an alternative to the paper leaflets that are handed out at the pharmacy, medical clinics and hospitals. Patients may LISTEN to a pharmacist describe all of the important counseling information about a medication so they will have a clear idea of why they are taking it, what to expect, what to look for, and what the consequences are of not taking their meds.

    After listening, a patient or caregiver will have a clear idea of what they do and don’t know and be in a much better position to take educated questions back to their own health care provider. AudibleRx is not affiliated with any drug manufacturer and accepts no advertising on its site or apps so it may maintain an unbiased approach to patient medication education.

    AudibleRx meets the FDA recommendations for Consumer Medication Information. The website and app are FREE for individual users; however, a licensing agreement is necessary in order for a health care provider to promote AudibleRx as a medication education tool.

    Steve Leuck, Pharm.D.

  • Sarah Williams

    After reading over this flip I had a lot going through my head. In the clinic in which I work the government is changing the way the physicians are charting and quite frankly they are not liking it. For meaningful use they are required to do a certain percentage of things to meet correct goals. However, some of the older physicians do not like to change their ways. We are now required to provide the patient with a summary after each visit, provide the patient with a portal code for online communication, and give them a medication information sheet with each new medication prescribed. Some of the physicians are merely printing these out and discarding them. However, I love patient education and find it rewarding. I want to teach and answer any questions they need. So I simply wait until the physician is finished and go in the room and talk with the patient and give them the information that I can give. This could simply be the mediation handouts or any brochures we have to lead them in the right direction.

  • Dreama Killingsworth

    I believe that patient knowledge and making sure they are informed, is an essential part of office visits. It is an important part of the teaching process, before patients leave the doctors office, the healthcare specialist (or designated personnel) needs to make sure the patient understands any knew information given to them, all their questions have been answered, and if any questions arise later it is okay to contact the office for clarification. If any additional resources are needed, that information should be given to the patient as well. Patients are more complient, and less anxious the more informed they are. You do not have to work in a clinic to implement this idea though, it can be done no matter what medical field area you work (Acute Care, Home Health, Clinics, Urgent Care, etc.), patients always need to be informed.

  • Lebriska Jones

    I believe this assessment was very accurate for me. This flip also hits home and is very fitting for my floor and my job description. My patients are very sick and need all of the education and help they can get. I plan to dig deeper for my patients and provide them with the best education possible to succeed in their treatments.

  • Louise Jackson

    I work in a NICU. Education is so vital in this area as in all healthcare areas. I think by educating the patient and family you are empowering them. The parents I deal with already feel helpless, they are unable to care for their new baby. If we give them the power to educate themselves and prepare to care for their baby, they feel like a parent again. The teaching starts at the hospital or clinic but needs to extend to the home as well. Patients receive a lot of information at these visits or at discharge, get home and can’t remember. If we provide multiple ways to find the information, printed material and internet, then it is easier to access. I feel the better the patient is educated then the better their overall health will become.