What is your current role?
I work as an eye health information assistant in the eye health information service at the RNIB.
My role involves answering telephone and email enquiries from customers about their eye health.
I also produce eye health information factsheets on various eye conditions.
What is the key area you are working on at the moment?
Revision of customer information factsheets as part of our three-year revision cycle.
I have just completed our revised factsheet on uveitis, which covers uveitis in adults.
I am now starting the revision process of our corneal dystrophies and corneal transplant factsheets.
What’s your biggest health information challenge?
My biggest health information challenge is providing customers with accurate information about their eye condition such as progression, treatment, if any, and impact on their vision in terms of permanent sight loss whilst being empathetic.
It’s a fine balance between informing without causing alarm, and giving customers the bigger picture, so they then feel in control of their situation.
Information is very powerful, and customers can feel empowered by an understanding of their eye condition and eye health and possible eventualities.
Empowering people to take an active informed role in the choices around the management of their eye condition can also encourage compliance.
For example, a customer understanding the impact not taking their anti-glaucoma drops regularly, as directed by their ophthalmologist, can have on their glaucoma and sight loss.
How can PIF members help you meet that challenge?
The Discussion Forum provides a useful platform to gather information and advice with direct responses from fellow PIF members.
Although we are all working on different health issues and have different backgrounds, talking to people whose overall aim is to produce information for patients, means that we can support each other and help quality assure our products.
What’s the best thing about working in health information?
Being a source of knowledge, help and support to customers.
It’s really rewarding conveying information to enable customers to understand their situation better.
Knowing that people are better able to cope, when they have received any of our information services, even when they are facing a very difficult time, is a great feeling.
Supporting customers through their sight loss journey is key.
Why did you join PIF?
Myself and my team members in the eye health information service decided to join PIF as part of our manager’s decision to apply for the PIF TICK.
As a team we are passionate about the eye health information we produce for our customers and feel the PIF tick endorses the validity, quality and standard to which our information is written.
What do you find useful about being a PIF member?
Online resources in the form of reports and publications, free to download for PIF members. Also, the ‘how to’ guides.
How do you ensure your health information is of the best possible quality?
I undertake user involvement by collecting feedback on our existing factsheets.
This includes questions on ease of understanding, how useful the factsheet is currently, what could have been done better and what the user would like to see improved, added or omitted.
I also gather feedback from relevant charities where applicable.
My team members in the eye health information service also peer review my factsheet and provide feedback and suggestions.
There is always a final review by a medical checker, specialising in the particular eye condition.
What top tip do you have to share on health information?
Try to be as accurate and concise as possible.
Stick to proven facts and treatments, where there is little evidence about a particular treatment, state this clearly.
What was your lightbulb moment in health information?
I recently attended PIF’s writing health Information workshop and all aspects of my in-house training on information development at the RNIB seemed to fall into place.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and various activities that enhanced and consolidated the knowledge I already have, as well as adding to my skillset.
I feel better equipped as I commence the revision process of my next factsheets.