Across industries, businesses are providing customers and clientele with digital resources more and more. And that trend extends to healthcare and patient education as well. Supplying digital materials can benefit clients, providing convenient, on-demand access to health education information on their smart device of choice. But are digital healthcare resources always the right choice?
Implementing digital documents in your patient education practice can streamline your business–reducing waste and helping you to keep track of important documents for clients. However, digital isn’t always the best option when delivering educational material for patients. Learn four reasons birth educators should choose print over digital when creating health education resources.
Support a deeper understanding of important health topics
Educating expectant and new parents on important health topics can be challenging. Not only do health educators need to translate complex medical concepts into approachable terms, but they also need to consider whether the format of their educational materials supports deep understanding.
In a relatively early study comparing the efficacy of print versus digital health education, college students reported that digital health education resources were more difficult to understand than print alternatives. Additional research found that, while college students grasped high-level concepts after reading digital texts, they missed important details. In contrast, students who read the same information in print formats were able to remember what they read in more detail.
As patients and clients can often be intimidated when learning about medical topics, healthcare professionals, including birth and postpartum educators, can and should use print resources to support enhanced learning and comprehension.
Promote information retention
Not only can print materials promote deeper comprehension but providing them can also improve information retention for your clients. Even the most simple and accessible education materials become unhelpful if the reader can’t retain and remember the information.
By incorporating print resources into their client interactions and teaching plans, birth and postpartum professionals can help clients remember important information. Effective prenatal education is tied to significant physical and mental health benefits for parents and babies. Using print resources can help reinforce birth education and make a meaningful difference in your clients’ long-term well-being.
Stay accessible for all digital or health literacy levels
According to national surveys, over 70% of Internet users search for health-related information online, and over half of smartphone owners have searched healthcare topics on their phones. Those numbers seem to suggest that digital resources are accessible and easy to use for everyone, but that’s not always the case.
Research into digital health literacy has shown that healthcare educators need to consider accessibility and usability when designing and creating education resources. According to the study’s findings, while people with lower levels of health literacy are just as likely to search for digital health information online, digital resources can be more difficult for them to understand. So birth and postpartum educators need to deliver educational materials that make information accessible and user-friendly for parents of all digital and health literacy levels.
Reduce mental fatigue
Spending significant time staring at digital screens has long been known to cause eye strain, but recently, educators and researchers are finding that reading digital text can result in mental fatigue as well.
As work, school, and social interactions have increasingly become virtual, we’re spending a lot more time interacting and reading on digital screens. While there are certainly ways your clients can mitigate eye strain–by taking breaks, adjusting screen brightness, and using blue-light blocking glasses–these solutions don’t address the mental toll of always being online.
Offering print resources for your clients not only supports improved comprehension and information retention for all health literacy levels, but this approach also offers a valuable break from the ever-present digital screen that many people need today. While your business may still need to use digital resources like email, e-brochures, and other communications, you can opt for print references for clients to keep on hand, like books, welcome packets, posters, handouts, and more.
Offer a balanced health education experience with both print and digital resources
Providing print books, brochures, handouts, and other education material has many benefits. However, there will still be times that digital resources are a more effective and feasible way to communicate with your client. Healthcare educators can balance what they offer clients by using both print and digital resources, saving printed materials for critical information and references.
Plumtree Baby helps birth and postpartum professionals deliver consistent materials in any format to clients. Whether you’re offering print or digital resources–or a mix of both–you want to provide expectant parents with consistent, quality education that reflects your expertise and professionalism. Let Plumtree Baby make it easy for you to deliver custom-branded print and digital resources to your clients.
Our products are evidence-based, cost-effective, and thoughtfully designed to reflect your brand. Get started today with educational tools to educate their clients through the entire journey from pregnancy to new parenthood.