Patient education is a critical part of healthcare delivery. Many factors reduce the amount of time nurses can devote to patient teaching. One mode of patient teaching, the use of printed materials, is an efficient and effective way to deliver and reinforce patient education. However, several barriers are associated with the method, including outdated or exhausted supplies of stock materials, expenses related to developing and printing materials, limited storage space, and the inability to locate materials when needed. The authors identified the intranet, an internal network that operates within a larger World Wide Web site, as a potential solution to these barriers. The Outpatient Oncology Clinic and Treatment Center of the Nebraska Health System, a fast-paced care setting in Omaha, agreed to serve as the project pilot area to evaluate using the intranet to generate patient-education materials. Teaching sheets about medication and symptom management, created by the oncology staff, were the first patient-education materials to be made available on the intranet. Advantages of using the intranet for patient education include online storage, decreased costs, easy access, real-time updates and distribution, and unlimited supply availability.
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