Survey reveals clinicians’ preferred patient education content sources and ‘must have’ features –  all of which are available through Healthinote

Survey reveals clinicians’ preferred patient education content sources and ‘must have’ features –  all of which are available through Healthinote
Member News

A new survey of NHS primary care clinicians has revealed their preferred sources of patient education content and their ‘must have’ content features – all of which have now been made available through Healthinote. The survey was carried out by Cognitant, with support from fellow leading UK digital health companies EMIS and eConsult, and received 161 responses from 115 GPs, and 46 Nurses / Allied HCPs. 

The primary objectives were to investigate the extent to which individuals in patient-facing clinical roles disseminate health information to patients, and to gauge attitudes towards information sources, preferred formats, attributes of information content, and motivating factors that would encourage clinicians to share more video content.


The results demonstrated the existing popularity of sharing health information with patients. Over 80% of clinicians were doing so, with 1/3 of clinicians saying that they provide health information to their patients almost always or most of the time, and less than 10% saying that they rarely shared health information. 

Clinicians felt that the top three care pathways which would benefit from sharing online health information with patients would be in: Primary prevention, Mental health, and Asthma/ COPD.

Content sources 

In order of preference, the top 5 content sources most likely to be shared with patients by primary care clinicians were,, charity websites, GP practice websites, and YouTube. The sharing of YouTube content was significantly more popular than the sharing of content from other social media platforms. 

Method of sharing

With regards to the method of sharing this information, text messages with an embedded link or attachment was the most used (by 80.74% of respondents), followed by email (54%) and then verbal communication (49%)

Sharing format

The information format that clinicians thought patients would find most useful was websites (chosen by 75% of respondents), followed by printed information leaflets and digital formats (such as PDFs). Video – including interactive content – was the most popular non-text format (ahead of podcasts and apps).

Priorities and motivating factors

When sharing content, 87% of clinicians were of the view that accessibility was the most important feature of health information. 78% thought that whether the information is produced by the NHS was an important factor in choosing what information to share, 73% thought that the UK-based information was important, 64% if it is regularly updated, and 54% if the information source is integrated with clinical records.

Interestingly, the top three motivating factors that would encourage clinicians to share more video content include:

  • if it was easy to integrate with texts & email
  • if they had access to a curated set of credible videos mapped to a health topic
  • and if the video content was validated by a clinician.

Video and interactive content can provide people with more tangible benefits around topics like primary prevention and can enable better recall and retention. We hope these survey results encourage more organisations to create patient education in multiple formats, promoting better health outcomes. Charities such as MIND are already creating a series of animated videos, which resonate with patients and carers.

Healthinote support for clinician preferences

Via this survey, NHS primary care clinicians have highlighted their preferences for sharing patient education, with their priorities clearly indicating a need for trusted sources, visual formats, accessibility, digital sharing methods and integration with the patient records. 

It’s great to see that Healthinote ticks all of the preferences indicated in the survey,  supporting the sharing of all of the top 5 preferred content sources cited and promoting the use of more accessible, visual formats to educate patients, whilst saving to the patient record.

Healthinote is currently available to GP Practices that use eConsult and to some secondary care users for specific patient pathways. This survey further confirms the value that we can deliver to clinicians and patients at both primary and secondary care level, and we are working towards achieving integrations with more clinical systems to support clinicians further in delivering effective patient education to their patients.

Discover more about Cognitant

Cognitant, via our leading patient learning platform, Healthinote, provides people with personalised, accessible and trustworthy health information and digital services, empowering them to make more informed decisions about their care and to better self-manage, improving healthcare efficiency. The impact of our work is demonstrated through improved patient understanding, shared decision making, better adherence to treatment and self-care, supporting efficiency and cost savings to health services and better health outcomes.


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