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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-26

Patient education frequency and methods during COVID-19 pandemic and the use of technology as an alternative to conventional methods

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aisha F Badr
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box: 80200, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjcp.sjcp_5_22

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Background: Patient education (PE) during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic faced various challenges because of social distancing that was implemented to limit the transmission of COVID-19. As a result, traditional, face-to-face PE may have been jeopardized. Objectives: The aim of this study was to therefore compare PE frequency and methods used before and after the pandemic as well as assess the use of technology in this practice. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study conducted in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia targeted the public of different age groups. An electronic link was shared with questionnaire items that included: (1) respondent’s demographics, (2) PE frequency and methods used before and during the pandemic, (3) familiarity with QR code use, and (4) reasons and deterrents for its use in PE. Results: Our results showed that majority of respondents before COVID-19 pandemic (60.4%) relied on face-to-face method for PE; however, a switch to technology-based methods, such as phone calls 44.8% (n = 86), telehealth 29% (n = 56), and QR code 15.6% (n = 30), was perceived during COVID-19 pandemic. Most respondents (70.3%) support QR code technology for PE particularly due to ease of use (70.8%), followed by accuracy of information 65% (n = 125) and reduce medication errors 57.8% (n = 111). Conclusion: QR code technology suggests a futuristic way that can allow pharmacists to keep a 2-m social distance from patients to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 infection. This is an innovative way that uses technology in pharmacy and can be used even after the pandemic.

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