Wendy’s snappy catchphrase dates back more than 30 years but it still sticks with people. And it’s easy to see why. It’s simply written and to the point.
This is how clinicians should approach patient education, said Carolyn Cutilli, PhD, RN, Patient Education specialist. “We want patient education to ‘stick’ with patients and families. Marketing concepts can help us influence our patient’s behavior to improve outcomes,” she said. "We need to talk with patients to learn what will get their attention and motivate them to make changes.”
For example, let’s say a patient is readmitted more than once for congestive heart failure due to increased salt intake. When the patient is asked to set a goal -- what she wants to do when she’s out of the hospital -- she states that she wants to get to her granddaughter’s wedding. “To do this she needs to keep healthy. Now you’ve got motivation.”
“The information has to be meaningful for patients from the beginning,” agreed Maureen Bonnell, BSN, RN, Patient Education specialist. “If they don’t buy in, nothing will happen.”