Midland hospital boosts diagnosis understanding with new tool

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 5:27 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Midland Memorial Hospital patients will now have access to more than 1,000 instructional videos.

The program was launched this week to help patients understand their diagnosis.

Hospital staff want to increase their patients’ health literacy, which will clarify their role in improving their own health and potentially prevent readmission.

Confusing medical jargon, dealing with an existing illness and information overload can make a new diagnosis confusing. Midland Memorial Hospital’s newest program is aimed at preventing that, said Hillary Alaniz, a patient education coordinator.

“One of our main goals of course is to improve health literacy,” Alaniz said. “And what that means is just our ability as a patient here to understand what health information is, and how do I apply that information to my life.”

Better health literacy means healthier patients and fewer readmissions. Staff say that creates a better staff to patient ratio and improves patient confidence in their care.

“Knowledge is power. The more knowledge I have, the more I’m able to control my healthcare outcomes because I know what my part is [and] what is my role as the patient taking care of my health at home,” Alaniz said.

Staff will assign videos to each patient and they are available on all room televisions. When patients are discharged, they receive a QR code linked to the video.

“So they’ll be able to scan the QR code and watch those videos at home,” Alaniz said. “It will be the exact same video that they needed to watch while they were in the hospital, so that’s really exciting. "

The videos are under three minutes, in English and Spanish and include information at about a fifth grade reading level.

“We want these videos to be easily accessible, where the patients can watch them as many times as they need,” Alaniz said.

The videos will also help family members and caregivers understand their loved one’s illness and needs.