Engage patients for better outcomes
One of the reasons infographics have gained popularity in recent years is because they take complex topics or ideas and make them easy to understand. They use visuals (charts, images, and other media) to help express their points, processes, or opinions. This same benefit can be achieved in the healthcare field by using visual diagnostics, improving patient understanding so they are engaged in their own care.
Better patient care
In a report published by the Institute of Medicine, the authors note that “the delivery of care often is overly complex” which can lead to “loss of information” and, ultimately, lower levels of care.1 Their suggestion is to change the way the healthcare system functions so that patients can experience better, more effective care. This can be accomplished using a patient-centered model, and one of the institute’s six “aims of quality” when taking this approach is increased patient engagement.2
With increased engagement, patients will become interested in making informed decisions about their own healthcare. This makes practitioner and patients partners in the healthcare process, and enables the patient to retain control of their healthcare choices.
With a clearer understanding of both current and future health-related goals, patients will truly understand available preventative and treatment options.
Use visual diagnostics for patient engagement
Visual diagnostics are a great way to improve patient engagement. They make educating patients a simpler process. Your patients will be able to interpret the same information that you use to make your recommendations and suggestions to patients.
To better illustrate, consider this example: If you’re not familiar with car engines or why they break, you’ll find yourself easily lost when a mechanic describes what needs to be done to fix one. However, if you’re able to understand the diagnostics yourself, you wind up with a clearer explanation of what’s wrong with your vehicle and allows you to intelligently decide what the best course of action is based on your wants and needs.
Visual diagnostics for chiropractic
As a visual diagnostic tool, X-rays are great to show patients’ what is going on under the skin. Digital X-rays are more easily accessible and sharable with patients. Some EHR software will allow for X-rays to be stored with patient histories for better progress-tracking, but not all EHRs offer this option.
If your EHR doesn’t offer this, there are adjusting instruments that connect to a monitor. They display data such as where subluxations or problem areas are and patient progress over several visits.3
Other types of visuals that can help provide patents with easy to understand information include informative posters, models of spinal columns, and information patients can take home.
The more your patients understand what is going on in their body, the more engaged they become in their treatment. Patient outcomes and retention are improved when you use visual diagnostics to facilitate patient understanding.
1 Institute of Medicine. “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.” [e-book]. Washington, D.C.
2 Davis K et al. A 2020 Vision of Patient-Centered Primary Care. J Gen Intern Med. 2005;20(10):953-7.
3 Sigma Instruments. “Products.” http://sigma-instruments.com/shop/. Accessed December 2, 2015. Published July 2015. Accessed November 2015.