Helping People Learn About Health in India (HLOL #91)

Aniruddha Malpani MD is a long-time health literacy advocate. He not only is an IVF (fertility) specialist in Mumbai, India but also runs the world’s largest free patient education library, HELP: Health Education Library for People. Dr. Malpani believes that empowered patients can help heal “sick” healthcare systems. In this video, Dr. Malpani talks with Helen Osborne about how this vision is happening in India.

For a transcript of this video, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11530

Health Literacy and Patient Safety (HLOL #88)

Paula Griswold is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, a statewide public-private partnership to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors. Griswold has led many important collaborative projects that include reconciling medications, preventing medication errors, preventing infections, and reducing hospital readmissions—all while improving a patient’s experience of care.

In this podcast, Paula Griswold talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Ways that patient safety and health literacy interests intersect
  • Preventing medication errors: strategies and tools to improve understanding
  • Reducing hospital readmissions: advocating for system-wide solutions

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11464

How to Create and Run Successful Health Literacy Conferences (HLOL #85)

Kari Stanley is Director of Community Benefit at Legacy Health in Portland, Oregon. In this position, Stanley develops and oversees strategies that align Legacy’s mission with its identified community needs. She also leads Legacy’s system-wide health literacy initiative. This includes creating and running a regional health literacy conference.

Stanley talks with Helen Osborne about planning her first, and now, second health literacy conference. This includes recommendations about:

  • Creating a plan with specific goals and metrics.
  • Leading a team that organizes the conference.
  • Choosing topics and vetting speakers so as to meet learning needs.
  • Funding the conference, choosing a venue, and managing other logistics.
  • Assessing success, following-up, and building enthusiasm for next year.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11313

Making a Business Case for Plain Language (HLOL #84)

Joseph Kimble is a long-time champion of plain language. For more than 25 years, he has taught legal writing and drafting at the Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan. Kimble is a prolific writer, authoring numerous articles and books including Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law. He also is editor in chief of The Scribes of Legal Writing and editor of the “Plain Language” column in the Michigan Bar Journal.

Kimble leads, and serves on, many plain language committees, initiatives, and associations. He also helped redraft important legal documents including the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence. No surprise, Joe Kimble has won a lot of awards for his plain language advocacy and accomplishments.

In this podcast, Joe Kimble talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What plain language is and why it matters in law, as well as in health.
  • Ways to answer critics and skeptics with truths about plain language.
  • Examples of how plain language can save time and money.

More Ways to Learn:

Click here to read the written transcript.

Attributes of Health Literate Organizations (HLOL #82)

Cindy Brach is the lead for health literacy and cultural competence at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Brach has overseen the development of several health literacy tools including the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. She is also the first author of “Ten Attributes of a Health Literate Health Care Organization,” a discussion paper published in June 2012 by the Institute of Medicine.

In this podcast, Cindy Brach talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What “health literate organizations” are and why they matter.
  • How this paper was inspired by the National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) from the HHS Office of Minority Health
  • Ten attributes of health literate health care organizations, along with examples and resources to learn more.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11242

The Future of US Healthcare (HLOL #81)

Dr. G. Timothy Johnson is one of the nation’s leading medical communicators of health care information. As former Chief Medical Editor for ABC News for 25 years, Dr. Johnson provided on-air medical analysis for “Good Morning America,” “World News,” “Nightline” and “20/20.” He is the author of several publications including a new book, The Truth About Getting Sick in America. Deservedly so, Dr. Johnson is the recipient of many prestigious awards.

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

  • Three big problems facing US healthcare today. And how these problems compare to those in other developed countries.
  • Ways that patients, family members, health literacy advocates, healthcare providers, librarians, business leaders, the media, and others can help.
  • Outlook for years ahead—with a dose of pessimism and glimmers of hope.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Johnson T, (2010). The Truth About Getting Sick in America: The Real Problems with Health Care and What We Can Do. Hyperion: New York, NY.
  • Groopman J, Hartzband P (2011). Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You. Penguin Press HC.
  • “Treating You Better for Less” (June 2, 2012). New York Times editorial.

To read the written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11223

Dr Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for HHS, Talks About Boosting Health Literacy to Move Beyond the Cycle of Costly Crisis Care (HLOL #77)

Dr. Howard K. Koh serves as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Koh is dedicated to the mission of creating better public health systems for prevention and care so that all people can reach their highest attainable standard of health. Health literacy is key to accomplishing this goal.

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

  • How health literacy is a dynamic systems issue and public health challenge.
  • Why health literacy is at a “tipping point,” moving from the margins to mainstream.
  • New Federal policies, initiatives, and tools that boost health literacy.

More Ways to Learn:

For a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11149

Consumer Reports Health Ratings (HLOL #75)

John Santa MD, MPH is Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. For many years, he worked as a primary care physician, healthcare executive, researcher, and policy maker. Now Dr. Santa and others work to evaluate and compare health services, products and practitioners based on current, robust, and independent sources of information.

In this podcast, Dr. Santa and Helen Osborne talk about:

  • Consumer Reports: How it helps consumers make purchasing decisions.
  • Why it is important for individuals to understand health ratings.
  • How Consumer Reports uses symbols, summaries, and narratives.
  • Strategies and resources for listeners to use in day-to-day practice.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11118

Plain Writing Act of 2010 (HLOL #73)

Annetta Cheek Ph.D. is an ongoing champion of plain language. With a background in anthropology and many years experience as a federal employee, Cheek helped lead the way to convincing the U.S. Congress to pass the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Now she and others are supporting new legislation to streamline government regulations.

Annetta Cheek’s commitment to plain language is long-standing. Among her many accomplishments, she served as an expert for Vice President Gore’s plain language initiative. More recently, she helped found the non-profit organization, the Center for Plain Language.

In this podcast, Annetta Cheek talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Plain language: What it is and why it is needed for all types of documents.
  • Plain language legislation: How government communications affect everyone.
  • Practical ways to help overcome a “culture of complex communication.”

More Ways to Learn:

For a transcript of this podcast, please visit http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11098

Talking About Medical Debt (HLOL #71)

Erin Moaratty is Chief of External Communications for the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF). For many years, Erin was PAF’s senior case manager – helping people who have catastrophic illnesses deal with issues about access to care, health insurance, employment retention, and medical debt.

In this podcast, Erin Moaratty talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Medical debt: What this term means, who it affects, why it matters so much.
  • Patient Advocacy Foundation (PAF): Services, resources, and examples of how PAF helps patients with catastrophic illnesses.
  • Ways you can help: Strategies for professionals, friends, family members, and organizations.

More ways to learn:

Click here for a transcript of this podcast on HealthLiteracy.com

Problematic Words in Health Research (HLOL #69)

Jessica Ridpath founded a research-centric plain language initiative called Program for Readability In Science & Medicine (PRISM) at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, WA. In this initiative, Ridpath provides plain language editing, training, and consultation for health researchers, health education writers, hospital staff, and public health employees. Her focus is often on writing clear and understandable informed consent forms for research.

In this podcast, Ridpath talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Informed consent forms for research. Why these forms can be difficult to read and ways to make them easier for the lay public to understand.
  • Problematic words. Examples of words and terms that may cause confusion even though these words are short and familiar.
  • Strategies and tools to improve understanding of health research concepts.

More Ways to Learn:

Click here for a transcript of this podcast on HealthLiteracy.com

Health Literacy Journey (HLOL #68)

Maureen Johnson is Manager of Women’s Consumer Health Information at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. She is committed to a patient-centered approach to health literacy and believes that large hospitals and health services need high-level support and robust systems to ensure that these efforts are sustained over time.

Johnson received a Victorian Travelling Fellowship from the Victorian Quality Council. This fellowship allows emerging leaders to conduct international investigations into innovative responses to health care quality and safety. As part of this program, Johnson recently visited the USA, Canada, England, the Netherlands and Finland.

In this podcast, Maureen Johnson talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Johnson’s health literacy journey. Why she traveled, who she met, what she learned along the way.
  • The value of health literacy networking. How it extends beyond hospitals and healthcare settings.
  • Salutogenesis. A way of looking at individual health factors, not just causes of disease.

More Ways to Learn:

Leading a Health Literacy Task Force (HLOL #67)

Susan Pisano is the Vice President of Communications for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) — a national association whose member companies provide health insurance coverage to more than 200 million Americans. As Vice President for Communications, Pisano acts as a spokesperson for AHIP and is responsible for outreach to member companies, the news media, and other major audiences. Pisano also serves as the primary staffer for AHIP’s Health Literacy Task Force.

In this podcast, Susan Pisano talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Organizing a health literacy task force. How, who, what, why, and when of leading a large and diverse committee.
  • Making a strategic plan and being clear about goals.
  • Creating tools, tookits, and policies to help task force members.
  • Measuring success as a way move projects and ideas forward.

More Ways to Learn:

  • America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), http://www.ahip.org/
  • AHIP’s health literacy resources. Includes “Health Plan Organizational Assessment of Health Literacy Activities.” Learn more and access health literacy tools at http://www.ahip.org/content/default.aspx?bc=39|341|22050
  • Peterson PN, Shetterly SM, Clarke CL et al. “Health Literacy and Outcomes Among Patients with Heart Failure, JAMA 2011:305(16):1695-1701.
  • Osborne H (podcast), April 26, 2011. Health Literacy Out Loud #57: Texting Important Health Messages. An audio interview with Julie Gazmararian. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/hlol-texting

Health Literacy from A to Z (HLOL #66)

Helen Osborne M.Ed., OTR/L helps others communicate health information in ways that patients, families, and caregivers can understand. Helen is president of Health Literacy Consulting, founder of Health Literacy Month, and host of the podcast series, “Health Literacy Out Loud.” She is also the author of “Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message.”

In this podcast, Helen talks with Adam Weiss about the second edition of her book, “Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message.”

Together, Helen and Adam discuss:

  • Who this book is for. What is new and different in the second edition.
  • Why health literacy matters to everyone communicating health information.
  • How health literacy is about mutual understanding between providers (anyone on the giving end of health communication) and patients (everyone on the receiving end of such communication).

More Ways to Learn:

Helping Patients Take Medication Safely and Effectively (HLOL #65)

Rebecca Burkholder JD is a healthcare attorney and Vice President of Health Policy at the National Consumers League–a national, nonprofit membership organization that has been representing consumers and workers since1899. Burkholder coordinates the League’s work on various health care issues including safe use of medication, patient safety, doctor-patient communication, and direct-to-consumer advertising. She also coordinates the League’s new national medication adherence campaign, “Script Your Future.”

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, Burkholder talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Medication adherence. What it is and why it is so important today.
  • Research about why patients do not take medication as directed.
  • Script Your Future, a broad-based educational campaign with tools, resources, and links to help improve medication adherence.

More Ways to Learn:

 

Chronic Engagement: Habits That Support Good Health (HLOL #64)

Jan Berger, MD, MJ, is the Chief Medical Officer at Silverlink Communications. She leads Silverlink’s population health initiatives in areas such as adherence, clinical messaging, engagement and health behavior change. Dr. Berger also is active on numerous national committees on quality and is the Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefit.  In all these roles, Dr. Berger is passionate that communications can significantly improve health outcomes.

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

  • “Chronic engagement,” a positive term referring to lifelong habits that support good health.
  • Using technology to communicate health information in scalable, personalized, cost-effective ways.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of health communication and chronic engagement.

More Ways to Learn:

Mammograms: Clearly Communicating New Guidelines (HLOL #63)

Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D. is the President of the National Research Center for Women & Families–a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization that works to evaluate and improve policies and programs that affect the health and safety of adults and children.

Dr. Zuckerman is a nationally respected expert on health and health policy, including the safety and effectiveness of medical treatments and the impact of violence on women and families. She has testified dozens of times before U.S. Congressional hearings and other federal and state agencies. Dr. Zuckerman is often interviewed or quoted on television, radio, and the national press.

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

  • Why and how national guidelines, policies, and recommendations change.
  • How to clearly communicate ever-changing, nuanced health messages.
  • Communication challenges ahead as science continues to evolve.

More Ways to Learn:

  • National Research Center for Women & Families, http://www.center4research.org/
  • Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund, a new program of the National Research Center for Women & Families. Available at http://www.stopcancerfund.org
  • Osborne H (host). 2011, April 5. Health Literacy Out Loud #56: Helping Others Understand Health Messages. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/hlol-helping-others-understand
  • Schousboe JT, Kerlikowske K, Loh A, Cummings SR, “Personalizing Mammography by Breast Density and Other Risk Factors for Breast Cancer: Analysis of Health Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness,” Annals of Internal Medicine. July 5, 2011, 155:10-20.
  • Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin, Overdiagnosed. Beacon Press, 2011.
  • 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

Using the Internet for Health (HLOL #62)

Lee Rainie is Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Since 1999, this non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” has studied the social impact of the internet. The Pew Research Center has examined and reported how people’s Internet use affects their families, communities, work places, education, civic and political life. It also studies how people use the Internet for health.

In this podcast, Rainie talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The rise of “e-patients.” Who they are. How they use the Internet for health.
  • The Internet as a way to increase patient engagement. How Internet usage may differ for those with chronic conditions versus new diagnoses.
  • Ways that health professionals can be active members of online conversations, too.
  • Rainie’s vision of what health communication might be like in years ahead.

More Ways to Learn:

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:

 

Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS Talks about the Importance of Health Literacy (HLOL #59)

Dr. Richard Carmona is the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona, Vice Chairman of Canyon Ranch, and President of the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute. He understands the importance of health literacy from a lifetime of personal and professional experiences.

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

  • Why he is such a champion of health literacy,
  • How health literacy factors in all we do, including emergency and crisis situations as well as public health, and
  • What others can do to help. As Dr. Carmona says, “Every citizen needs to become a health literacy public health practitioner.”

More Ways to Learn:

Click here to read a transcript of this interview [Read more…]

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 Milestones and Opportunities (HLOL #55)

Dr. Ruth Parker is Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is nationally recognized for her efforts in health literacy research, education, and health policy.

Dr. Parker’s accomplishments are many, including helping to develop the TOFHLA (Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults) and co-writing the health literacy definition included in many publications and initiatives including the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Health Care Reform”).

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

  • Why health literacy matters so much to her, and everyone else.
  • Health literacy milestones, especially in the past ten years.
  • Health literacy opportunities ahead in this era of health care reform.

More Ways to Learn:

Click here for a transcript of the episode. [Read more…]

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

Using Comparative Performance Data to Improve Healthcare Quality (HLOL #51)

Barbra Rabson is the executive director of the Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP). Under her leadership, MHQP has become a trusted source of physician performance information in Massachusetts. MHQP is recognized nationally as well, for its collaborative approach to gathering and reporting on comparative health care quality data.

In this podcast, Barbra Rabson talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How comparative performance data helps providers and consumers alike.
  • “Expect the Best,” a consumer campaign focused on healthcare quality.
  • Strategies and tips for climbing the “mountain of mutual understanding.”

More Ways to Learn:

Legislation Giving Voice to Patients and Families (HLOL #47)

Deborah Wachenheim is the Health Quality Manager at Health Care for All (HCFA) in Boston, MA. The mission of HCFA is to create a consumer-centered healthcare system that works for everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable.

HCFA’s Consumer Health Quality Council drafted legislation that was recently enacted to establish Patient and Family Advisory Councils at all hospitals in Massachusetts. In this podcast, Wachenheim talks about the process of making this happen.

Topics include:

  • Patient and family advisory councils. What they are, how they help, and who they include.
  • Process of drafting and enacting a new statewide law.
  • Lessons learned about patient councils and the legislative process.

More ways to learn: