News Year’s resolutions: Health literacy edition

This year we’re bringing a new perspective on the New Year’s resolution tradition – health literacy! Here are some resolutions providers can adopt to increase health literacy at their organizations.

  1. Audit your written materials. Make sure they use plain language, are easy to read and understand, and are available in all necessary languages.
  2. Get creative. Find new ways to work with patients – like allowing patients’ to audio record your care instructions.
  3. Confirm understanding. Use the teach-back method with at least one patient every day to make sure they understand your instructions.
  4. Stop using one acronym or medical term. Is there a word you often say that is confusing to patients? Swap it out for a plain language alternative.
  5. Rephrase a popular question. Instead of asking “do you have any questions?” ask patients “what questions do you have?

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