Tablets vs. Magazines: Patient Education in the Waiting Room

Replacing magazines with tablets can help patients learn about diabetes risk, take preventive action
Replacing magazines with tablets can help patients learn about diabetes risk, take preventive action

HealthDay News — The multispecialty San Bernardino Medical Group has replaced magazines with digital devices in waiting rooms, which can help patients learn about their risk of diabetes and take preventive action, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

As part of its work to improve health outcomes, the AMA has collaborated with Outcome Health to provide devices to physician practices. These devices are designed to help patients identify their prediabetes risk, enable productive conversation with providers, and allow physicians to refer patients at risk to diabetes prevention programs. 

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Nurses encourage patients to use the tablets as they wait for a physician, and patients are instructed to take the prediabetes risk assessment before their consultation. Nurses and physicians are educating patients to become familiar with the system and what content is on the tablets. The practice has a diabetes educator who uses an Outcome Health tablet in her education room and works with patients to discuss the diabetes education program as well as diet and exercise and other areas needed for a healthier lifestyle. As patients often have to wait for a physician, the availability of digital educational prediabetes materials makes use of this time in a meaningful way.

"With modern technology, we've eliminated the magazines and encourage patients to utilize the tablets," said practice administrator Vanessa Bales, according to the AMA.

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