The Importance of Empathy in Health Communication (HLOL #61)

Leslie Bank is Director of Customer Service at Montefiore Health Care System in Bronx, New York. She is also the co-author of, “I’m Sorry to Hear That…Real Life Responses to Patients’ 101 Most Common Complaints About Health Care.”

Bank has worked as a healthcare “change agent” for over three decades, always striving to assure that the patient’s voice is heard in all aspects of care. This includes her ongoing work in billing reform. In fact, many refer to Leslie Bank as “The Mother of Patient Friendly Billing.”

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What empathy is and how it helps build trusting healthcare relationships.
  • Strategies and suggestions for using empathy in day-to-day practice.
  • Stories and examples of empathy in action.

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, 24, 27, 41.

 

Helping Others Understand Health Messages (HLOL #56)

Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, M.S., and Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, are general internists at the White River Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center in Vermont. They also are professors of medicine, and community and family medicine, at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire.

Together, they are working to address two important barriers to health communication: 1) many patients and providers are limited in their ability to interpret medical data, and 2) health messages are often exaggerated or incomplete. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Woloshin have written extensively on this topic and are co-authors of several books including Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics and Overdiagnosed.

In this podcast, they talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Health statistics, health messages, and health claims. Helping people make sense of what they hear on the news, see on TV, and read in the ads.
  • Three questions to help others better understand health messages.
  • Ways to communicate complicated health messages more simply and clearly.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, Welch HG, Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics. University of California Press, 2008. (The book can be downloaded for free from http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html
  • Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin, Overdiagnosed. Beacon Press, 2011.
  • S Woloshin, LM Schwartz, BS Kramer. “Promoting health skepticism in the news: Helping journalists get it right,” J Natl Cancer Institute 101(23): 1596–1599.
  • “Healthy Skepticism,” White River Junction Outcomes Group. Available at http://www.vaoutcomes.org/washpost.php
  • Osborne H, “In Other Words…Working With Numbers,” On Call magazine, June/July 2004. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3745

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

Dr. David Blumenthal Talks About Health Information Technology (HLOL #54)

David Blumenthal MD, MPP serves as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (or Health IT) under President Barack Obama. Dr. Blumenthal is charged with building a secure nationwide health information system and supporting the widespread, meaningful use of Health IT.

Dr. Blumenthal’s credentials are extensive. He not only was a practicing primary care physician but also is a renowned researcher and national authority on health IT. Dr. Blumenthal serves on numerous national boards and has authored over 200 scholarly publications, including “Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office,” which tells the history of U.S. Presidents’ involvement in health reform, from FDR through George W. Bush.

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

  • What Health IT is and why it’s needed in healthcare today.
  • How Health IT benefits providers, researchers, and patients.
  • Concerns about Health IT and work being done to address them.
  • What an ideal Health IT world would look like 20 years from now.

More ways to learn:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt/community/healthit_hhs_gov__home/1204

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 27, 30, 36.

Terry Davis Talks About “Baby Steps,” Action Planning (HLOL #16)

Terry C. Davis, Ph.D is a pioneer in the field of health literacy. She is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA (LSUHSC-S), where she also heads the Behavioral Science Unit of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. She has won awards for her accomplishments and published more than ninety articles and book chapters related to health literacy, health communication, and preventive medicine.

Dr. Davis’s many health literacy accomplishments include: developing the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM); chairing Louisiana’s statewide Health Literacy Task Force; serving as master faculty of the AMA’s Train-the-Trainer Health Literacy Curriculum; and participating as a member of the Healthy People 2010 Health Literacy/Health Communication Section, and the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about helping patients take “baby steps” (action planning). Topics include:

  • What baby steps are and why they are needed in healthcare today
  • How baby steps help in the management of chronic disease
  • Ways to build baby steps into your healthcare practice


Ready, Set, Action Plan
Lorig, Bodenheimer

More ways to learn:

  • American College of Physicians (ACP) Foundation, Living with Diabetes: An Everyday Guide for You and Your Family. To learn more and order copies, go to http://foundation.acponline.org/hl/diabguide.htm
  • Bodenheimer T. “Coordinating care–a perilous journey through the health care system.” N Engl J Med 2008;358(10):1064-71.
  • Bodenheimer T, Davis C, Holman H. “Helping patients adopt healthier behaviors.” Clinical Diabetes 2007;25(2):66-70.
  • DeWalt DA, Davis TC, Wallace AS, Seligman HK, Bryant-Shilliday B, Arnold CL, Freburger J, Schillinger D. “Goal setting in diabetes self-management: taking the baby steps to success.” Patient Education and Counseling, April 7, 2009, PMID: 19359123.
  • Handley M, MacGregor K, Schillinger D, Sharifi C, Wong S, Bodenheimer T. “Using Action Plans to Help Primary Care Patients Adopt Healthy Behaviors: A Descriptive Study.” J Am Board Fam Med 2006;19(3):224-31.
  • Lorig K. “Action Planning: A Call To Action.” J Am Board Fam Med 2006;19(3):324-5.
  • Lorig, Bodenheimer. Ready, Set, Action Plan. 5 minute instructional video for providers and health educators.  The video demonstrates an easy, brief method for helping 3 patients create small achievable action plans. http://foundation.acponline.org/images/diabetes_dvd.wmv
  • MacGregor K, Wong S, Sharifi C, Handley M, Bodenheimer T. “The action plan project: discussing behavior change in the primary care visit.” Ann Fam Med 2005;3 Suppl 2:S39-40.
  • MacGregor K, Handley M, Wong S, et al. “Behavior-Change Action Plans in Primary Care: A Feasibility Study of Clinicians.” J Am Board Fam Med 2006;19(3):215-23.
  • Osborne H, “In other words…How to help patients manage their action planning.” On Call magazine, June 26, 2007. Available online at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=6111
  • Seligman HK, Wallace AS, DeWalt DA, et al. “Developing low-literacy patient educational materials to facilitate behavior change.” American Journal of Health Behavior 2007;31(Suppl 1):S69-78.
  • Seligman HK, Wallace AS, DeWalt DA, Schillinger D, Arnold CL, Shilliday BB, Wallace AS, Seligman HK, Davis TC, Schillinger D, Arnold CL, Bryant-Shilliday B, Freburger JK, DeWalt DA. “Literacy appropriate educational materials and brief counseling improves diabetes self-management.” Patient Education and Counseling. 2009.

Talking Health to Men (HLOL #12)

Joe Zoske, MS, MSW is the Administrative Coordinator of the BSW Social Work Program at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. He incorporates his interests in communication, literacy, and men’s health in his teaching of Health Care Communication Skills and Gender Health courses. Zoske promotes a “whole man model of male wellness,” communicating health information in ways that are male-compassionate and male-affirming.

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about communication strategies for talking health to men. Topics include:

  • Gender as it relates to cultural competence and health disparities
  • How and why men receive health messages differently than women
  • Strategies providers can use to teach men about illness and well-being

More ways to learn:

  • Men’s Health Network, PO Box 770   Washington, D.C. 20044. http://www.menshealthnetwork.org. This is the lobbying organization for men’s health in the U.S. which also promotes National Men’s Health Week.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words… What’s the Difference? . . . Does Gender Matter When Communicating About Health?” On Call magazine, December 2004. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3787
  • Senay, E & Waters, R. (2004). From Boys to Men: A Women’s Guide to the Health of Husbands, Partners, Sons, Fathers, and Brothers. Scribner: NY
  • Zaman, F. and Underwood, C. (March 2003). The Gender Guide for Health Communication Programs. Center Publication No. 102. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health / Center for Communication Programs. Available at http://www.jhuccp.org/pubs/cp/102/102.pdf
  • Zoske, J. Men’s Health & Wellness: 50 Health Promotion Ideas for Educators, Planners, and Practitioners. 1998. Contact Zoske directly at: Siena College, Social Work House, 515 Loudon Rd, Loudonville NY 12211.

Pauline Hamel Talks About Intergenerational Health Communication (HLOL #11)

Pauline C. Hamel, Ed.D, PT, teaches in Boston University’s online Master of Science in Health Communication program and Northeastern University’s Health Sciences program. She is a physical therapist, educator, former healthcare administrator, geriatric specialist, and now consultant. Her interests include interdisciplinary research, teaching, writing, and consulting in the areas of health communication, health literacy, public health, professional development, intergenerational service learning, and health promotion in older adults. You can reach Pauline Hamel at phamel@bu.edu.

In the podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about intergenerational health communication. Topics include:

  • How college students and older adults are often more alike than different
  • Ways different generations can learn from, and teach, one another
  • Why service learning matters and ways you can get involved

More ways to learn about intergenerational teaching and learning:

Andrew Krueger MD talks about health literacy and management of chronic disease (HLOL #7)

Andrew Krueger, M.D. is the Medical Director for Accordant Health Services (a division of CVS Caremark Corporation). His responsibilities include directing and supporting Health Management Medical Affairs, providing medical leadership to numerous projects and committees, and serving as the senior clinician providing guidance for Accordant’s disease management programs.

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about health literacy and management of chronic disease. Topics include:

  • What disease management programs are and why health literacy matters
  • Ways to communicate with patients including by telephone, mail, and the Web
  • How helping patients understand their conditions can improve health outcomes

More ways to learn:

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