Who really uses those PDFs and tools on pharmaceutical websites anyway? Do they actually make any difference to the patient experience when discussing their condition in the doctor’s office?
Well, it turns out that a lot of “allied health” workers do use these materials, and these are the same people who spend the lion’s share of time with the patients. A study released by HealthEd Academy of 155 “healthcare extenders” has provided some insight into how these allied health workers use digital assets to help educate patients. The way that HealthEd Academy defines “healthcare extenders” is essentially the same as the more common industry term of “allied health”:
nurses, nurse practitioners, health educators, registered dietitians, certified diabetes educators, and social workers
The data in this report was gathered in February and March of 2012 and the website provides a full white paper, a presentation deck, and an infographic.
Image from HealthEd presentation deck: The Rise of the Healthcare Extender.
Other information from the deck:
- 55% print materials from websites for patients and 40% co-browse websites with the patient. Health sites that include good patient PDFs and reputable information will be popular with this group.
- 15% of allied health did not use digital channels with patients, the other 85% used desktops, smartphones, tablets, and other channels.
- The older, 40-59, age group over-indexed on digital education with patients across the board as compared to the 19-39 age group.
This all seems to point toward website materials being used pretty extensively by allied health when they discuss issues with patients and it points the way toward KPIs to be measured on healthcare websites.