Effective communication in healthcare starts with making sure patients receive the information they need in a way that is clear and easily understood. Creating knowledge distillation tools such as pamphlets, infographics and videos helps patients understand their disease or treatment. 

Resources broken down into plain language from technical medical jargon serve as valuable contributors to a patient’s experience, ultimately helping them make more informed decisions and understand their options as they move forward on their journey.

The significance of translating knowledge for enhanced patient care

Proactive disease management:

Allows patients to get ahead of their diagnosis and be proactive in their disease management, educating themselves on side effects and prophylactic care, utilizing therapies, and monitoring drug effectiveness.

Enhanced adherence and persistence for therapeutic effectiveness:

The more informed patients are about their diagnosis and treatment plan, the more willing they are to cooperate with the proposed action plan.

Improved perspectives based on translatable information:

Using easy-to-digest statistics, providers can help patients put their disease in context. For example, according to the Canadian Breast Cancer Society, “1 in 8 Canadian women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 36 will die from it.” With access to the latest statistics, patients can learn about the progression of their disease, as well as cure rates, genetic factors, and much more.

The above image translates PFS data into an image so that patients can understand therapy-adjusted survival values.

“No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story.” – Daniel Kahneman (psychologist, behavioural economist and author)

How data storytelling is beneficial for providers to explain evidence at the point of care

Patients want data that is timely, relevant to their diagnosis, and easy to digest. By developing resources that resonate with patients and are easily understood by the masses, healthcare providers and industry leaders lead toward more successful patient-provider relationships. They open the door to more effective communication and less time wasted reiterating procedures and diagnoses.

A great example of storytelling in medical communications is Brent Dykes’ book “Effective Data Storytelling: How to Drive Change with Data, Narrative and Visuals.” In this book, Dykes outlines three keys to becoming a data-driven change agent (see photo below). He explains how first you must have data literacy (the ability to understand data). Secondly, you need to communicate this data effectively to your audience, which in healthcare are patients and caregivers. And lastly, the ability to translate data so that patients can understand their diagnosis and treatment.

This image in particular from the book demonstrates a good example of infographics that can be used to communicate disease prevalence.

In a world where digital information can often be misconstrued, leading to further confusion and unanswered questions, reputable organizations and industry leaders need to steer the ship by creating valuable, up-to-date, data-driven insights to share with patients on a consistent basis. Being able to use data storytelling models not only improves patient-provider communications but also the ongoing care management relationship.

To learn more about how CONNECT collaborates with various stakeholders to enhance the patient experience, tune in to our CONNECT Collaborators Series on LinkedIn.