Printed Health Information v Digital Information

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by Lynn Strother in Digital | Health | Older People

As you are aware life is moving more and more towards everything only being accessible digitally – this of course is noticeable within the NHS where there are suggestions that more and more GP, community and social services are, or will be, on line.

Now the question being discussed is which is best for patients and consumers – printed or digital?

From information and comments we have received it is obvious that we need both printed and digital information. Why?

  • Not everyone has access to digital equipment
  • Digital is not always helpful for people where English is not the first language
  • If there are printed leaflets with pictures then people with little English do not always need to discuss their medical problems with children who do speak English or other family members and friends
  • If you are in hospital you will not always be able to access digital information
  • Many people like a leaflet to discuss with friends/family and even take to the GP/nurse or pharmacist to ask questions
  • People tend to look on websites when they have a problem, whereas leaflets can be picked up in medical practices and hospital; leaflets on areas of health people may be unaware of, particularly screening opportunities and other areas of preventative medicine
  • Leaflets may have a wider community distribution – libraries, supermarkets, dentists, podiatrists, pharmacies – at local residents/health days and voluntary organisations. Also, people at events like to go home with a variety of leaflets
  • Leaflets and digital information must be in plain English and in a print suitable for people with sight problems

So what is more useful/helpful to you – digital or paper information?

In advising the NHS – what advice would you like us to give them?

Send your comments so that we can give a summary of what is important to you to the NHS.

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