Integral and central part of any patient care program.
Definition – any combination of planned learning experiences designed to facilitate people who are having or have had experience with illness or disease in making voluntary adaptations of behaviour that will be conducive to health.
Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations in USA outlined patient education as:
• promote interactive communication between patients and providers
• improve the patients and family’s understanding of the patient’s health status, health care options, and consequences of options selected
• encourage patient and family participation in decision making about care
• increase patient and family potential to follow the therapeutic health care plan
• maximise patient and family care skills
• increase patient and family ability to cope with the patient’s health status
• enhance patient and family role in continuing care
• promote a healthy patient lifestyle
• inform patients about their financial responsibility for treatment when known