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Patient education materials linked to electronic health record

Jan. 8, 2015, 8:26 AM

In recent months Vanderbilt University Medical Center has begun delivering patient education materials to patients and their care teams using a technology called Infobutton.

Electronic links, in the form of Infobutton icons, appear next to patient problems and medications in the patient summary in StarPanel, and in the patient’s record in My Health at Vanderbilt.

When a link is selected, a pop-up window displays relevant content from a patient education vendor, Staywell (formerly Krames).

The links also take into account the patient’s age and gender.

“This puts access to patient education materials directly into the clinical workflow, a major improvement over previous types of access,” said Lane Stiles, director of Patient Education.

With reimbursement increasingly tied to patient outcomes, and with care teams stretched for time, Stiles noted that clinicians want more than ever to find effective and efficient ways to engage and educate patients.

He stressed that the materials from Staywell are not intended to take the place of teaching.

“The team needs to identify the key messages that will drive desired outcomes, then team members need to reinforce these key messages with direct patient teaching. The research is clear that patient engagement increases significantly when this happens. The Staywell materials are intended to complement, not replace, direct teaching by the care team,” he said.

The content that the care team sees is limited to Staywell’s “health sheets,” which are focused on the clinical encounter. My Health at Vanderbilt account holders see links to the same content, plus links to videos and consumer-focused articles.

According to Stiles, Staywell is the only major patient education vendor whose content is fully customizable. Vanderbilt can edit and delete the Staywell content and can upload additional materials to the repository.

Many people at Vanderbilt helped select the vendor, including members of the Patient Education Oversight Council. Ongoing review of the content is led by patient education committees aligned with patient care centers.

For more information, or to request changes in content, contact patient.educa-tion@vanderbilt.edu.

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