Patient Education Brochures: Worth the Expense?
 
 
 
 
 
  Are Medical Brochures
Worthwhile?
 
  What Makes an Effective
Handout?
 
  Purchase or Make Your Own?
 
  If Purchasing...
 
  If Making your Own...
 
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discussing medications with patient  
The arguments in favor:
 
  • The patient benefits by receiving a printed summary of what he needs to know about his procedure/condition.

  • The practice benefits since an educated patient will likely have better outcomes, and will typically require less staff time.

  • The practice also benefits since, as the brochure circulates among the patient's friends and relatives, it promotes your practice.
The argument against the use of handouts:
 
  • Cost.
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Conclusions:
 
  • Practices need to quantify the hidden costs associated with under-educated patients. Practices need to also examine their marketing budget, and how is it allocated? Would an attractive educational handout with a promotional panel make more sense than an extra half-inch in the yellow pages ad?

  • If medical brochures are part of your practice promotion effort, then efforts should be made to track results. What brings new patients to your practice? You need to know if the brochure that Mrs. Smith took home was the trigger that eventually prompted Mr. Jones to make an appointment with you.

  • Handouts need to have value to the patient. Think carefully before spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a single glossy handout explaining why your facility is the best. Instead offer handouts that explain the conditions and procedures your patients are concerned about. Then dedicate a small portion of the handout to promoting your facility's capabilities. Think the 80-20 rule: if 80% of the content isn't useful to the recipient, do you really think that he or she will read it? Would you?
 
 
 
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