Introduction/Background: Patients stay healthier when informed, making communication the key to better outcomes. An informed and educated patient actively participates in their own treatment, improves outcomes, and reduces length of stay. We call and evaluate every patient 30 days post discharge. We found that many reported either not receiving stroke education, or could not recall if they had received it. The principle of Occam’s razor states: “The simplest idea is usually the best idea.” This principle was utilized to solve our problem.
1. How do we increase the likelihood that patients will remember that they have received stroke education?
2. How do we assure that patients recall health information provided to them.
Methods: Stroke patients are given extensive, personalized stroke education during their admission, and reinforced daily by stroke team. Education materials were given to patients in white folders with a Cedars-Sinai logo. Stroke patients are phoned in 30 days and asked a series of 18 questions to assess well-being & assess patient’s experience during hospital stay, and after discharge. These calls revealed an unusual number of patients who were unable to recall being educated or receiving educational materials. We decided to simply change the stroke education folder from white to bright red. We instructed the call center to use the red folder as a prompt to help the patient recall receiving stroke education.
Conclusion: A collaborative approach was used to ascertain an appropriate stimulus for the patient to recall their stroke specific education. Stroke education had to stand out amidst the myriad of information patients are bombarded with in the hospital. The team came up with the simple idea of using a bright red folder. When patients were called the call center would prompt the patient by saying “The stroke education was given to you in a bright red folder.” Prior to implementation of the red folders, only 81.5% of patients recalled receiving stroke education. After implementation of the red folders, 96.8% recalled receiving stroke education. The principle of Occam’s Razor proved to be correct in our study. A very simple idea such as changing the color of the folders to bright red proved to have very meaningful results.