What steps can healthcare providers take to improve patient understanding?
Asking patients to explain in their own words how they are going to take care of themselves (teach-back method) Encouraging questions to reduce uncertainty and give patients confidence that they can manage their conditions. Developing personal action plans that help patients break down health goals into realistic steps.
What is the Newest Vital Sign?
The Newest Vital Sign (NVS) is a valid and reliable screening tool available in English and Spanish that identifies patients at risk for low health literacy. It is easy and quick to administer, requiring just three minutes.
How do you address low health literacy?
Addressing Low Health Literacy
- The first step is to identify the problem.
- Slow down.
- Use plain, non-medical language.
- Show or draw pictures.
- Limit the amount of information provided and repeat it before moving on.
- Use the teach-back or show-me technique.
- Create a shame-free environment.
- Build in safeguards.
Who has low health literacy?
Low health literacy is associated with patients who are older, have limited education, lower income, chronic conditions, and those who are non-native English speakers. Approximately 80 million adults in the United States are estimated to have limited or low health literacy.
What four skills are needed for health literacy?
Health literacy requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, as well as the ability to apply these skills to health situations.
How do you achieve good health literacy?
Here are some easy ways to help build your health literacy and become a better patient and health advocate for yourself.
- Ask questions. And make sure you get the answers to those questions, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
- Be your own pharmacist.
- Tell the truth.
- Bring someone with you.
Why does health literacy matter?
Health Literacy Affects Everyone Health literacy can help us prevent health problems and protect our health, as well as better manage those problems and unexpected situations that happen. They aren’t familiar with medical terms or how their bodies work.
How does low health literacy affect patient outcomes?
Patients with low literacy had poorer health outcomes, including knowledge, intermediate disease markers, measures of morbidity, general health status, and use of health resources. Patients with low literacy were generally 1.5 to 3 times more likely to experience a given poor outcome.
What reading grade level should you assume for all patients?
The Joint Commission8 states that PEMs should be written at or below a 5th grade reading level, and encourages hospitals to use readability tests to revise written materials in order to address the health literacy needs of all patients.