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Health Literacy

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Accuracy, Usefulness of Patient eHealth Literacy Assessments

In a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) was shown to be an effective measure of patient eHealth literacy, supporting providers to better target health IT initiatives to boost patient engagement. eHEALS is the most popular assessment in...

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Clear Communication Index

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has designed a tool to help plan and assess communication materials. A score is given for several basic characteristics of clear communication.

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Clinical Jargon Removal Tools

Access plain language glossaries at these websites to help you better communicate with your patients: Everyday Words for Public Health Communication from the Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Communicate Health from Communicate Health Just Plain Clear from...

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Easy-to-Read Written Materials Formatting Checklist

This one-sheet formatting checklist aids health communicators in preparing patient-centered written materials.

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Engaging Patients with Health Literate Care

Sutter Center for Integrated Care presents its PDF slide deck on how to engage patients with health literate care.

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Health Literacy and Outcomes Among Patients with Heart Failure

Kaiser Permanent Colorado researchers studied the association between low health literacy and all-cause mortality and hospitalization among outpatients with heart failure. Among patients with heart failure in an integrated managed care organization, low health literacy was significantly associated with higher all-cause mortality.

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Health Literacy and Universal Precautions

Dr. Izione Silva, PhD, the Language, Culture, and Engagement Coach for the Disparities National Coordinating Center provides a PDF with links to an online course, a handy toolkit for providers, and a model for integrating health literacy at healthcare practices.

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Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduces the fundamentals of health literacy and demonstrates the importance of health literacy within public health practice.

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Health Literacy Important for Heart Failure Patient Survival

This article summarizes a new study from Vanderbilt University, where researchers followed 1,379 patients hospitalized for acute heart failure. After accounting for the patients’ age, gender, race, insurance, education, other medical conditions and hospital length of stay, the researchers found...

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Health Literacy Measurement Tools from AHRQ

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded researchers have developed four tools to measure an aspect of health literacy—individuals' reading comprehension in a medical context. AHRQ includes two new tools that allow direct comparison of health literacy in speakers of English and...

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Health Literacy Online

Visit Health Literacy Online, a guide from the Health and human Services (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and health promotion, where you can learn how to build user-friendly webpages and digital tools.

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Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit that guides providers on how to build tools for each type of communication, written or verbal.

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Health Literacy: Tools to Measure Literacy

Visit the Health Literacy Tool Shed from the National Institutes of Health for various health literacy measuring tools. Among those of particular relevance are the following: General Health Numeracy Diabetes Numeracy Literacy Assessment for Diabetes High Blood Pressure and Smoking Media Literacy...

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Health Resources and Services Administration Literacy Resource List

The Health Resources and Services Administration prepared a collection of health literacy resources, designed to help those interested in building health literacy programs, along with training and technical assistance.

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How Digital, Health Literacy Drives mHealth Patient Engagement

This article highlights how to promote patient health and digital literacy in keeping patients connected to their health and wellness between doctor visits. Common hurdles are identified as well as solutions, such as applying the patient teach back method when fostering an understanding of health...

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Improving Health Literacy for Older Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2009 Expert Panel Report (PDF format) addresses older adults' challenges to understand health information by identifying opportunities for healthcare professionals to meet their needs.

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Linking Patient to Non-Medical Supports

Izione Silva, PhD, the Language, Culture, and Engagement Coach for the Disparities National Coordinating Center, explains in this downloadable PDF how low-literate patients often experience striking disparities in health due to unmet social needs. He describes how referrals to non-medical supports can overcome such healthcare barriers.

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Low Health Literacy Is Associated with Preventable Emergency Department Visits

University of Florida researchers concluded that low health literacy contributes to the risk of preventable emergency department (ED) visits, especially those that involve hospital readmission. Their findings were published in the September 2017 issue of the Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM)...

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Maintaining Health Literacy Through Being Web Savvy and Culturally Engaged

As people age, their risk of degrading literacy skills can occur, reports a health blog. According to researchers in the UK, if people maintain Internet use along with civic engagement, they are less inclined to erode their health literacy.

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National Standards for Culturally and Linguistic Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care

Obtain the the most current version of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistic Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (the National CLAS Standards) from the Office of Minority Health.

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NIH Plain Language Training

The National Institutes of Health has developed a training module for anyone who has an interest in public health and in providing clear and concise communication to forward that information.

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Patient Medication Reviews: Engaging Patients to Better Understand Their Medications for Better Adherence and Better Health Outcomes

Dr. Izione Silva, PhD, the Language, Culture, and Engagement Coach of the Disparities National Coordinating Center explains in this downloadable PDF that better medication management could be considered a core quality improvement practice to improve health outcomes through enhancements in patient understanding, adherence, care coordination, and resulting reductions in hospitalizations and ED visits.

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Patients with Low Health Literacy Less Likely to Use Health IT

Low health literacy poses a barrier to electronic health record (EHR) use by patients, according to University of Texas at Austin researchers. In a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, investigators found low health literacy is associated with negative health outcomes and...

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Survey: Most Nurse Practitioners Help Decode Medical Information for Their Patients

Based a survey of 210 nurse practitioners (NPs) by Merck Manuals, 88 percent of NPs believe they spend at least half their appointment time educating patients on diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions. Significantly, 45 percent of NPs reported that their patients’ lack of understanding is a...

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The Cost of Low Health Literacy

This Pharmacy Times article highlights the impact that health literacy has on hospitals readmissions. Specifically, it noted that $12.6 billion in increased hospital costs result from low health literacy. Meanwhile, it cites a broader figure of low health literacy costs lying between 7–17 percent...

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