The Value of Using the Right Health Education Videos for Patients

Healthwise Communications Team

It’s common for patients to feel overwhelmed. Between family, work, and their health, they have a lot competing for their time and attention. Health education material shouldn’t feel like homework or add to the patient’s stress levels. When done right, it improves patient engagement and helps them understand their health concerns.

Link to promotional reel on health education videos for patients

Combining health education videos with written material and clinician support makes it easier than ever for patients to remember at-home instructions, weigh the pros and cons of a treatment, understand what to expect from a surgical procedure, or learn to manage their condition. A well-crafted video reinforces information with appealing graphics and audio so patients can absorb the content more quickly and retain it better.

An effective video can almost always bridge the gap between the patient and the educational material they need. Using videos as part of your education plan helps your organization and your patients in four key ways:

  1. Enhance discharge education. Supplementing written and verbal instructions with videos reinforces information and helps patients retain what they’ve learned.
  2. Support quality measures. Reinforce your care plans and educate with award-winning videos on topics specific to the patient’s care.
  3. Save clinicians’ time. Patients can watch videos from home or on their own in the hospital without supervision, freeing clinicians for other tasks.
  4. Address low health literacy. Patients vary in their ability to obtain, process, and understand the information needed to make appropriate health decisions. Videos meet patients where they’re at by simplifying the topic and using visual aids.

As part of our video development process, we continually refine our content and optimize it for the people who need it: the patients. A strong, patient-centered video should meet the following criteria:

  • Engaging
  • Evidence-based
  • User tested
  • High quality

This year, we conducted another round of user testing as part of our ongoing commitment to creating content that helps people. Out of over 300 respondents, 88% said the video explained the topic clearly and was easy to understand. 4 out of 5 said the content was helpful.

A screenshot that links to a Healthwise patient education video


Here are just a few things users had to say about Healthwise’s videos during our latest test.

  • “They use examples that are easy to understand.”
  • “The video [for children] is short enough that kids can watch the entire thing without getting distracted.”
  • “This makes eating healthy sound easy and doable.”
  • “The video is helpful and gets straight to the point.”
  • “It's important to have a video available to view and review later.”
  • “The video is easy to understand without oversimplifying the subject.”
  • “I like the real examples of patients in actual healthcare scenarios.”

Usability studies across the board show that short, to-the-point videos are ideal. Research has found that when videos are under 6 minutes, viewers are more likely to begin watching, more likely to watch the entire video, and more likely to retain the information.1, 2, 3 Two of these sources include line charts showing a sharp decline in viewership past the 9-minute mark.

The Pew Research Center shows that 2 to 5 minutes is the “sweet spot” for videos, with 1 out of 5 news videos in this range consistently ranking top in views.4 Most of Healthwise’s videos are under 3 minutes, so patients can easily watch all the way through and remember what they’ve learned.

For more information, check out the infographic “4 Ways Videos Can Help Your Patients and Your Hospital.”