Better Patient Education

November 8, 2012 Leave your thoughts

How can we make Bone Health patient education more effective?  An entire office visit only about bone health / osteoporosis prevention and treatment, is an effective start.  This I have done since 2007.  Now national leaders are looking for the next step.  The answer surprised me.

In 2012, presenters at National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), and American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) have said the same thing:  Spend less time on each visit, but increase the number of visits.  Studies are showing that this works.

Educators have preached for decades that repetition is the best way to instill new knowledge.  Recent studies are showing that very few people can learn and remember more than a few new facts at a time.  It’s true for me.  My attempts to learn everything at the national meetings proved that.  I do much better focusing on just a few topics.

Educators have studied which patients best succeed.  Most patients have questions (calcium and Vitamin D3 doses, medication) within weeks of their visit, no matter how much time is spent in a single session.    Planning on multiple sessions from the beginning meets that need.  Patients seen twice initially, then every 3 months, are more likely to have improved bone health at the one-year recheck.

Other learning aids include handouts, Our Videos, and blogs like this.  Take advantage of everything you can get.

Jay Ginther, MD

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