Using Technology to Enhance the Patient Experience
Telemedicine study provides needed education for patients using bronchial inhalers
Here are some surprising facts, according to a study on patients who are prescribed an inhaler for bronchial conditions:
- 25 percent of patients NEVER receive instructions on proper technique for inhaler use.
- 40-80 percent of patients immediately forget the information provided.
- 20-40 percent of correct information is the maximum retained by patients.
- 50 percent of information provided to patients is recalled incorrectly.
These facts motivated Robert Kruklitis, MD, PhD, Vice Chair, Department of Medicine - Clinical Programs, practicing in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at LVHN, along with Katie Gibbs; Lorraine Valeriano, BSN, RN, CNRN; and Mindy Brosious BSN, RN, to find a way to make a more significant impact regarding bronchodilators. This led to their Quality Improvement project, “A Feasibility Study for Tele-education for Ensuring Correct Bronchodilator Use,” conducted from May to August 2018.
Dr. Kruklitis and his team turned to the concept of telemedicine to increase education for patients who are prescribed an inhaler. Patients were provided with an educational session during their office visit, as is standard practice. From home, the patient was able to access the video connection (MyLVHN Video Visit platform) so the nurse could watch the patient use the inhaler to make sure it was being done correctly. Patients were able to ask questions directly to better retain the information. The project began with a group of 11 patients who met the selection criteria. Four patients were able to complete the study.
- The results of the project were highly positive:
- 100 percent of the patients studied were able to use the bronchodilator correctly after tele-education.
- 100 percent of patients studied reported increased confidence with using the bronchodilator after tele-education.
- 50 percent of patients studied had additional questions during the tele-education session.
Some patients would not be able to take part in this type of education due to lack of personal technology (those participating need to have a smart phone, iPad, or computer with video capability). However, the concept was appealing to the clinical staff as a new offering to ensure patients’ care and prescriptive treatment would be most effective.
“We are working to expand this program in the pulmonary office,” says Dr. Kruklitis. “This mode of education proved invaluable to some patients and was professionally rewarding to nursing staff.”