With the rise of the internet and other telecommunication technologies, disseminating information has improved significantly in the health sector. Health topics are crucial due to the increase in infections and diseases brought about by different world advancements. While information passage is efficient and more simplified, it is essential to note that the validity and quality of some might not be so great. All health practitioners must take so dearly as providing practical information that will go a long way in helping patients achieve their health objectives.
Since health matters are crucial and require perfection, stakeholders in the medical sector have come with different technologies to help ensure nothing is left to chance. The zeal for flawless services prompted the formation of tools such as the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT), which helped identify and choose the type or form of resources patients can decipher.
Understanding the PEMAT
The PEMAT tool is one of the logical approaches used by professionals in the medical industry to review the quality and effectiveness of certain information materials. This tool uses two criteria to work effectively; the ability to act appropriately and understandability. Understandability would show how easy the recipients of the information will read, comprehend, and describe the given materials’ message. On the other hand, actionability would show how easy it would be for the recipient to recognize the requirements illustrated fitting the information provided. But how to use the PEMAT?
The only way to use this tool is through audiovisuals and print media. One cannot employ the information presentation forms such as the verbal material when using the Patient Education Material Assessment Tool. While information conveyed will vary depending on the materials stated above, all analysis gets done on worksheets. The following are area where one needs to analyze when using PEMAT:
- Design and Layout
- Simplicity of actions
- Choice and style of word
- Visual aids
It is essential to note that the ranking of the different categories of analysis areas gets done in numeric later summed up and their values in percentages calculated, making it easier for the consumer to understand and take appropriate actions based on the information provided. Though this tool faces criticism, those in support illustrate that the PEMAT does not give perfect or flawed materials. Still, its reliance on the internal consistency of materials relating to a given topic makes it authentic. This means that the experts using this tool will have to analyze different materials in the same area before capturing what is needed to make the material they are working on more understandable.
How Can One Use the PEMAT?
The main reason for the development is designed to aid the medical workers and other experts in choosing wisely from the assemblage of educational resources that exist nowadays. It demands strategies to ensure one gets accurate and precise insights. Actionability and understandability of a message in a given educational material are also crucial. The PEMAT could be used to do the following;
Compare Related Materials.
PEMAT helps to rank materials to each other to assist professionals in gaining insight into the direct message in a given topic. Where there are two related materials, PEMAT can evaluate and identify which will best bring out the aspect of understandability and consumers’ ability to take action.
Think Through a Variety of Educational Resources
Since the PEMAT is the first tool in the health education field to incorporate different sources of information such as the print media to assess and convey messages, it is the best in ensuring improved educational reach among patients. The tool helps healthcare providers introduce audiovisual and printed material to patients. This enhances their health education literature understanding.
Relate Different Methods of Assessment
Many medical field tools could get used to finding out an ideal material to give to patients. Some of these tools can help in achieving readability and writing approaches in the healthcare literacy scene. Integrating such devices with the PEMAT would mean a comprehensive approach towards analyzing topics to give the best quality of educational materials.
Evaluation of Available Materials
For community medical facilities, the PEMAT may help review the body of already available materials from incoming patients and other consumers. Other facilities might employ a different method of evaluation that is different from the health center. As such, the PEMAT may sync the details of the materials in a way that would be understandable, and the patient could act upon it.
Importance of the PEMAT
The PEMAT is primarily a tool that has helped enhance health literacy programs that make it easier for healthcare providers to give patients the information that fits their needs. Considering the amount of data available concerning health, one cannot assume that all meet the quality intended. This is why it is essential to ensure the availability or retrieved information is thoroughly reviewed and audited to uphold the quality and relevance of the details of the materials issued to patients. The PEMAT can analyze readability and writing techniques of education materials and, therefore, help conduct a comprehensive assessment of these materials for more meaningful feedback.
Apart from enhancing health literacy, the PEMAT has also empowered patients and made them understand what is required to make progress with their health. This is important in achieving sustainable medical health services. Fundamentally, patients have the right to information concerning their medical situations. Healthcare providers need to outline useful information in a way that the patients can interpret and take action.
As a healthcare provider, it is essential to exhaustively understand the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool’s concepts to provide efficient services to the patients. What makes a difference is that a patient can comprehend and act on a given message as outlined in a gifted education material. This is essential in helping them achieve the goals they have set for their health. While adopting PEMAT is a good move, it is also fundamental to consider other assessment methods for in-depth analysis of given materials.