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, health education improves patient engagement and helps them understand their health concerns.

Patients who reviewed education videos from the Healthwise Video Library rated them highly

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 personalized care. 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.
A screenshot of a Healthwise Video Library overview video


Patient-Centered Videos

As part of Healthwise's video development process, we continually refine our content and optimize it for the people who need it: the patients. Our 800+ videos meet the following criteria, making them strong and patient-centered:

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

We regularly conduct user testing as part of our ongoing commitment to creating content that helps people. During our latest tests with over 300 respondents, 88% said our videos explained the topic clearly and were easy to understand. 4 out of 5 said the content was helpful.

To increase accessibility, we also recently turned captions on by default for all Healthwise videos. Client feedback initially spurred this change—and through user testing we found that 50% of users wanted captions on automatically.

Here are just a few more things users had to say about Healthwise’s videos:

  • “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 Healthwise videos average 2 minutes in length, so patients can easily watch all the way through and remember what they’ve learned. On average, Healthwise videos have an 81% completion rate, so we know patients are engaged and interested in learning what our videos share.

Learn more about how Healthwise education supports patients.