Making Lab Test Results More Meaningful (HLOL #175)

Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, Ph.D.is Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education and Research Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also is Associate Director of University of Michigan’s Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine. Trained in decision psychology and behavioral economics, Dr. Zikmund-Fisher designs and evaluates novel communication methods to make health data more intuitively meaningful, studies the effects of poor numeracy on the public’s use of health data, and explores the power of narratives in health communications. He developed and teaches graduate courses in health risk communication and designing memorable (“sticky”) health messages.

In this podcast, Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why it is important that patients understand lab test results. And why this is so hard for many people to do.
  • How visual cues such as number lines, ranges of relevant values, colors, and harm anchors (with simple words) can help patients not only understand lab results but also figure out what, if any, actions to take.
  • Takeaways from this research that clinicians can use in everyday practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 6, 8, 9, 12, 26, 37, 38

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Best Case/Worst Case: A Strategy to Manage Uncertainty in Shared Decision-Making (HLOL #164)

Gretchen Schwarze MD, MPP, is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Schwarze is a practicing vascular surgeon and health services researcher who also directs the clinical ethics curriculum for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.  Her research interests are in patient-doctor decision making for high-risk operations and end-of-life care for surgical patients.

In this podcast, Dr. Schwarze talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Best Case/Worst Case. A decision-making strategy that uses narrative, a graphic aid, and simplicity to communicate with families about complex treatment options.
  • Examples, stories, and research about using Best Case/Worst Case in practice.
  • Ways that patients and non-physicians can build on these lessons learned.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 8, 12, 13, 19, 26, 32, 38, 41

Read a transcript of this podcast.

After Visit Summaries (HLOL #152)

image001-2Alex Federman. MD, MPH, is an aging-focused health services researcher at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research addresses chronic illness self-management in older adults and focuses on health literacy, cognition and health-related beliefs. Dr. Federman also provides primary care to adults in clinic and home-based settings in New York City.

In this podcast, Dr. Federman talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • After Visit Summaries (AVS), electronic health records, and other ways for patients and providers to exchange information.
  • Language, formatting, and other reasons AVS are not yet ideal patient summaries.
  • Ways providers and patients can use AVS to increase understanding and improve the delivery of care.

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 4, 6, 9, 16, 30

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Research About Using the Milliliter as a Standard Unit for Liquid Medication (HLOL #126)

Yin_Dreyer_IMG_4472Benard Dreyer, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Director of Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital, and a pediatric hospitalist at NYU Langone Medical Center. He co-chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics “Project Advisory Committee on Health Literacy,” co-edited the book Plain Language Pediatrics, and serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy Roundtable.

Shonna Yin, MD, MSc, is a general pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center. She is an NIH-funded researcher focused on the development and evaluation of low literacy strategies to improve parent understanding of health information, including medication instructions.

In this podcast, Dr. Dreyer and Dr. Yin talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Common dosing errors parents make with liquid medication
  • Research about using the milliliter as a standard dosing unit
  • Ways professionals and parents can help improve medication safety

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 17, 26, 32.

Read the written transcript.

Presenting Data in Ways that Work for Most People, Most of the Time (HLOL #113)

Pictures of Sally 2013Sally Bigwood lives in the United Kingdom and has worked in a number of fields including publishing, sales, government, and the UK’s National Health Service. These fields all need to communicate data in ways that everyday folks can understand. To help, Sally Bigwood along with her sister Melissa Spore, founded Plain Figures and co-authored the book, A Designers Guide to Presenting Numbers, Figures, and Charts.

In this podcast, Sally Bigwood talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Presenting data as simply and clearly as possible.
  • Putting figures into a logical order.
  • Keeping comparisons close.
  • Rounding figures so they are easier to understand, compare, and recall.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Plain Figures. At http://www.plainfigures.com
  • Bigwood S, Spore M, The Designer’s Guide to Presenting Numbers, Figures, and Charts. The Allworth Press (2013).
  • Freeman JV, Walters SJ, Campbell MJ, How to Display Data. BMJ Books (2008).
  • “When Communicating Risk, Consider What Patients Need and Want to Know (HLOL #102).” Health Literacy Out Loud podcast interview with Dr. Brian Zikmund-Fisher. At http://www.healthliteracy.com/hlol-risk
  • “Clearly Communicating Scientific Information (HLOL #83).” Health Literacy Out Loud podcast interview with Dr. David Nelson. Athttp://healthliteracy.com/hlol-scientific-information

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 12, 26, 38.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

CDC’s “Clear Communication Index” (HLOL #108)

Baur photo April 2013Cynthia Baur, PhD, works at the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and leads CDC’s health literacy and plain language initiatives. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Baur is lead editor of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and with Dr. Christine Prue, also of the CDC, co-developed CDC’s Clear Communication Index.

In this podcast, Cynthia Baur talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What CDC’s Clear Communication Index is, why it’s needed, and how it compares to other communication assessment tools.
  • How to use the Index when revisiting, revising, or creating a wide range of public communication products. These include print materials, web postings, audio scripts, and social media messages.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 2, 3, 6, 16, 26, 30.

To read a transcript of this podcast, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11786

 

 

 

When Communicating Risk, Consider What Patients Need and Want to Know (HLOL #102)

BZF Donaghue headshotBrian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He also is a Research Assistant Professor in their Internal Medicine Department and affiliated with several other University of Michigan’s programs. With a background in decision psychology and behavioral economics, Dr. Zikmund-Fisher teaches, researches, and writes about meaningful ways to communicate risk and other number-based health messages.

In this podcast, Dr. Zikmund-Fisher talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How all risk communications are not the same.
  • The responsibility of the communicator to consider the spectrum of patient’s needs before deciding what to provide.
  • How to align the format of risk information to its purpose. In other words, how to know when we want numbers and when we might not.
  • The pros and cons of different formats for discussing risk including icon arrays and other visual ways of showing probabilities, labels that group numbers into categories, and narratives that recount lived experience but ignore probability.
  • Thoughts about the history and future of risk communication.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Zikmund-Fisher BJ, “The Right Tool is What They Need, Not What We Have: A Taxonomy of Appropriate Levels of Precision in Patient Risk Communication,” Medical Care Research and Review. Published online September 6, 2012. Full text available at http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/98434
  • Icon Array, a free online tool to communicate your risk information in a matrix, http://www.iconarray.com

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 8, 9, 11, 13, 26, 38.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Numeracy, Chronic Disease, and Repeat Emergency Room Visits or Hospitalizations (HLOL #92)

PastedGraphic-1Candace McNaugton MD, MPH, is an emergency medicine physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a fellow in the Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine Research Training Program. Dr. McNaughton also completed a VA Quality Scholar Fellowship, focusing on issues of quality and patient safety. Her research looks at patients with heart failure, hypertension and other chronic diseases who seek care in the emergency department.

In this podcast, Dr. McNaughton talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Numeracy and chronic disease. Number-based tasks that patients must do to care for themselves at home.
  • Return ER visits and hospitalizations. Patients with low numeracy skills appear to be at more risk for acute exacerbation of heart failure symptoms.
  • What can all of us do to help? Recommendations for clinicians, patients, and healthcare systems.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11545

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