Older Adults, Brain Changes, and Health Understanding (HLOL #163)

Mark Hochhauser, PhD, is a psychologist and readability consultant in Golden Valley, MN. He also is a long-time health literacy champion. Among his many accomplishments, Hochhauser has researched the readability of consent forms, HIPAA notices, and patient’s bill of rights. He has given more than 100 presentations and authored over 200 articles. Hochhauser has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses on topics that include Adulthood and Aging, Human Learning and Memory, Motivation and Emotion, and Abnormal Psychology.

In this podcast, Mark Hochhauser and Helen Osborne talk about:

  • Brain changes including working memory, processing speed, selective attention, and other factors that tend to decline with age.
  • What listeners can do to effectively communicate with older adults.
  • What patients and families can do to better understand health information.
  • How technology offers hope, opportunity, and tools for health communication.

More ways to learn:

Read the transcript of this podcast.

End of Life Education (HLOL #157)

1_dk_kkKathy Kastner is founder and curator of the only patient/consumer-perspective website for end of life education, BestEndings.com, and author of the eBook, Death Kills… and other things I’ve learned on the Internet. Kastner also shares this information by speaking at healthcare conferences, blogging on health websites, hosting tweetchats, and participating in invitation-only think tanks. Kathy Kastner has received numerous awards for her advocacy and work in end of life education.

In this podcast, Kathy Kastner talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • End of life. An emotionally fraught topic often prompted by a new diagnosis, change in health status, or even news reported in the media.
  • Examples of words, terms, and end of life concepts that are often misunderstood.
  • Ways professionals can help improve education and understanding about end of life. Ways patients, families, and the public can help in these conversations too.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript of this podcast. 

Implicit Bias: A Factor in Health Communication (HLOL #146)

Winston WongWinston F. Wong, MD, MS, FAAFP, is a practicing physician who also serves as the Medical Director of Community Benefit at Kaiser Permanente. His work includes developing community and organizational partnerships to eliminate health disparities. Dr. Wong has won numerous awards and serves on a number of national advisory boards including the Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy Roundtable.

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

  • What implicit bias is and examples of how it can affect health communication.
  • Why even those who consider themselves as unbiased may unconsciously make snap judgments based on how others look and speak.
  • Health literacy and implicit bias. Recommendations of ways to improve health communication and actively explore what matters to each patient.

More ways to learn:

Read the transcript of this podcast.

What To Do When Teaching About the Flu (HLOL #142)

Sparks photoSteve Sparks is the director of Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. There, he provides consultation, training, and coordination for statewide health literacy programs, communications, and interventions. Before Wisconsin Health Literacy, Steve held marketing and communications positions in hospitals, health systems, and taught college-level communication courses.

In this podcast, Steve Sparks talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why it’s important, yet also difficult, to teach about the flu.
  • Strategies that work including collaborating with organizations trusted by the intended audience, meeting at places people already go, creating an informal tone, being interactive, using health literacy principles throughout.
  • How health literacy approaches enhance success in populations harder to reach.
  • Getting funding, measuring success, and other behind-the-scene necessities.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the transcript for this podcast.

Literacy & Health Literacy (HLOL #141)

Michele Erikson photoMichele Erikson has been involved with adult literacy for many years. She started as a volunteer literacy tutor and now serves as Executive Director of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. One of Michele’s many accomplishments is overseeing Wisconsin Literacy’s Health Literacy division that not only hosts national health literacy summits but also works closely with adult learners and healthcare professionals to ensure that health information is communicated in ways everyone can understand.

In this podcast, Michele Erikson talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Literacy, an acquired skill that goes beyond decoding written words.
  • Is reading a problem? Why, who, and what to do to improve understanding.
  • How literacy and health literacy overlap, intersect, and differ from the other.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. Includes information about Wisconsin Health Literacy. At http://wisconsinliteracy.org/health-literacy/
  • Contact Wisconsin Health Literacy’s director, Steve Sparks at steve@wisconsinliteracy.org or call 608-257-1655
  • Hotdogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential through Literacy at Any Age, by Rob Shindler. This book includes an insider’s view on tutoring adults.

More Ways to Make a Difference:

  • Volunteer to be a tutor. Change someone’s life through literacy.
  • Advocate to legislators, business leaders and community officials.
  • Ask if your doctor’s clinic participates in Reach Out and Read.
  • Donate or become a member of your local literacy agency.
  • Ask your local service club (Rotary, Kiwanis, Altrusa, Lions, Etc.) to get involved.
  • Use plain language in all your health care communications.

Read the written podcast transcript.

Ethnodrama: Conveying Health Concepts in Culturally Relevant Ways (HLOL #140)

Anita Woodley - Headshot Black & WhiteAnita Woodley is an award-winning actress, playwright, producer, musician, poet, and journalist. She also is a certified HIV counselor and advocate for many healthcare initiatives. One powerful way that Anita communicates is with ethnodramas—non-traditional theatrical performances based on ethnographic research data used to educate, promote, and prevent harmful practices to overall health.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Anita Woodley about:

  • How theatric performances can communicate health messages in meaningful, memorable, and culturally relevant ways.
  • Examples of using characters, language, and laughter to teach about health.
  • Woodley’s suggestions about ways everyone (not just actors) can be authentic and inform those we care about, and care for.

More Ways to Learn

  • Anita Woodley: Award-winning Entertainer, Journalist, and Visual Artist. Read about, watch, and learn much more at Anitawoodley.com
  • Strang F, Gonzalez S, 100 Perks of Having Cancer plus 100 Health Tips For Surviving It. At http://100perksofhavingcancer.com

Read the written podcast transcript.

Health Literacy and The Joint Commission (HLOL #139)

Cordero 3-13Christina (Tina) Cordero, PhD, MPH, is a Project Director in the Department of Standards and Survey Methods, Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission. Among her many accomplishments, Tina developed the patient-centered communication standards and The Joint Commission monograph Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals.

In this podcast, Tina Cordero talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why, how, and when The Joint Commission got interested in health literacy.
  • What The Joint Commission requires and recommends in regard to patient communication interaction.
  • The Joint Commission’s Roadmap as a resource and framework for practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the podcast transcript.

Communicating About Health with LGBTQ Youth (HLOL #136)

VettersRalph Vetters MD, MPH, is the site medical director of the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center, a program of Fenway Health in Boston, MA. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and trained as a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Boston Medical Center. The Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center focuses on caring for youth who are alienated from the traditional health care system – LGBTQ youth, street youth and homeless youth.

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

  • What this term means, who it includes, and how it covers a wide range of issues and identities.
  • Strategies to communicate health information in ways that are respectful, helpful, and inclusive. This includes pronouns, words, non-words, health history forms, and electronic medical records.
  • How health literacy and communicating with LGBTQ youth share many characteristics, goals, and strategies.

More ways to learn:

Read the written transcript.

A Patient’s Perspective about Health Communication (HLOL #131)

RJoffe web sizeRosalind Joffe is founder and president of ciCoach, giving people who live with chronic health conditions the tools they need to thrive at work. Rosalind knows these issues well as she herself as lived with chronic illness for over 35 years. As both a patient and consumer advocate, Rosalind chairs the Patient Engagement Council of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. She’s a coach who writes, blogs, and speaks about chronic health challenges and its impact on career.

In this podcast, Rosalind Joffe talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • “Patient-provider engagement,” a term that reflects joint sharing of information.
  • Why two-way health communication matters so much to everyone today.
  • Examples and suggestions about ways that patients and providers can engage in collaborative, respectful, health communication.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Working with Chronic Illness: A blog about living and working with chronic illness and difficult health challenges. At http://cicoach.com/blog/
  • Joffe R, Friedlander J. Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working Girlfriend! A book published by Demos Health, 2008.
  • Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, at http://www.mhqp.org

Read the written transcript.

Health Literacy and Hearing Loss (HLOL #130)

MckeeMikeMichael McKee, MD, MPH, is a family medicine physician and Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. McKee’s clinical work and research focuses on health care access, health literacy, and health communication with disadvantaged populations including those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Dr. McKee not only has a professional interest in this topic but also personal experience as he himself has a profound hearing loss.

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

  • How hearing loss can affect health knowledge and understanding.
  • Assessing a person’s preferred language and mode of communication.
  • Respectful ways to improve communication as with pictures, technology, and community education.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Teach-back (HLOL #129)

Dean's photoDean Schillinger MD is a practicing primary care physician and Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California San Francisco and Chief of the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. He also directs UCSF’s research program about health communication with vulnerable populations. Dr. Schillinger has authored over 200 publications about this work. Dr. Schillinger recently co-founded a novel public health literacy campaign called “The Bigger Picture,” harnessing the voices of young people to help change the social and environmental conditions leading to the epidemic of diabetes in minority youth.

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

  • Teach-back, a technique to arrive at shared meaning.
  • What to do (and not do) before, during, and after teach-back.
  • How teach-back can be freeing, not restrictive, for your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

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:

Read the written transcript.

Learning and Teaching about Health & Insurance (HLOL #121)

BonnieBraunheadshotBonnie Braun, Ph.D., served as the first Director and Endowed Chair of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. Bonnie Braun is a lifelong adult educator. Her many accomplishments include authoring nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles, founding and chairing Health Literacy Maryland, and leading the creation of the award-winning consumer curriculum, Smart Choice Health Insurance.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Bonnie Braun about:

  • Teachable moments, when learners have a need or problem to solve.
  • Building a teaching framework based on well-established theories of adult learning, education, and psychology.
  • Who, why, what, and how. Essential questions to answer when preparing to teach about health or health insurance or other topics.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=12071

Patients Unlike Others You’ve Treated Before (HLOL #120)

Becky-1546-5x7_ppBecky Curran was born an achondroplastic dwarf. She is passionate about finding a way to change how people with physical differences, including little people, are perceived in the media. Becky is committed to helping everyone accept the differences in others.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Becky Curran about:

  • Why health communication can be difficult when providers treat patients with rare disease and conditions.
  • A patient’s perspective about ways providers can build trust and communicate effectively with everyone.
  • How to portray the diversity of your audience in print and web materials.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=12066

Before You Teach Find Out What Learners Know, Feel, and Believe (HLOL #119)

Susan ReidSusan Reid is the Consulting Manager at Workbase, a not for profit organization in New Zealand that specializes in workforce and health literacy issues. Susan and her colleagues are currently working with New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and healthcare organizations to identify the impact of health literacy on their systems, workforce, and patients and families.

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

  • What to know about learners before deciding how much to teach.
  • How reading theory helps make health teaching more effective.
  • Examples of ways to learn about your learners.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=12050

Communicating with Compassion (HLOL #118)

Dr.Beth Lown WebSize19Beth Lown, MD, FAACH, is a general internist at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She teaches learners across the spectrum of medical education. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Lown is the first medical director of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between patients and care providers and creating more compassionate healthcare systems.

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

  • Compassion. How it builds upon, yet differs from, empathetic concern.
  • Examples of ways to bring compassion into health communication.
  • How listeners can learn more about using these skills in practice.

More Ways to Learn

To read a written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=12017

Consultations are Conversations: How Clinicians and Patients Can Help (HLOL #117)

MontoriPhotoVictor M. Montori, MD is Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. He not only is a practicing endocrinologist, researcher, and author but also a recognized expert in evidence-based medicine and shared decision-making. Dr. Montori developed the concept of minimally disruptive medicine and works to advance person-centered care for patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks w Dr. Victor Montori about:

  • Patient-centered care. How clinicians and patients both bring expertise to this conversation.
  • Strategies busy clinicians can use such as setting priorities and advocating for the patient’s agenda.
  • Strategies busy patients can use such as bringing in an “extra set of ears” and asking questions

More Ways to Learn

To read a written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=12008

Dentists and Patients: How to Communicate Clearly (HLOL #111)

Leila-Jahangiri-profile-image 2013Dr. Leila Jahangiri is a dentist, clinical professor and department chair in Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry. NYU is the largest dental school in the United States and Dr. Jahangiri has vast experience in teaching and patient care. She focuses a considerable amount of time researching effective communications and is co-author of the book, A Guide to Better Teaching.

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

  • How good communication starts even before the patient sits in a dental chair.
  • Ways to help reduce a patient’s anxiety and fear of pain or the unknown.
  • Strategies that dentists, medical professionals, and patients can use to improve communication.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Jahangiri L, Mucciolo T (2012), A Guide to Better Teaching: Skills, Advice, and Evaluation for College and University Professors. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • ADA (American Dental Association). With resources for professionals and the public. At http://www.ada.org.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Health Literacy and Pediatrics (HLOL #107)

Cronan_ Kate DSC6430Kate Cronan MD is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College, Director of Health Content Integration for the Nemours Children’s Health Media Center, and Senior Editor for KidsHealth.org. She is also an active and enthusiastic health literacy champion who co-chairs the Language Proficiency and Health Literacy Committee at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.

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

  • Health literacy issues to consider when communicating with children, along with their parents or caregivers.
  • Strategies to help set a positive tone, put children at ease, and communicate medical information in ways they can understand.
  • Choosing words, using pictures, and otherwise being clear when teaching children about health and illness.

More Ways to Learn:

  • KidsHealth from Nemours. Communicating complex medical information in ways that parents, kids, and teens can understand. At http://kidshealth.org
  • Abrams MA, Dreyer BP, (2009) Plain Language Pediatrics: Health Literacy Strategies and Communication Resources for Common Pediatric Topics. Available as an eBook from AAP, at http://ebooks.aap.org/product/plain-language-pediatrics

To read a written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11763

Health Literacy and Hearing Loss (HLOL #103)

Bonnie, Ranger, and Mickey at a conferenceBonnie Bartos PA-C, MHP, CDE is a Physician Assistant and Certified Diabetes Educator in the Mayo Clinic Health System. Her clinical focus is primary care, diabetes, and anticoagulation care. Bartos is a long-time health literacy advocate who uses pictograms as well as many other formats to teach patients who are visual learners, those who have poor literacy skills, use English as a second language, or have disabilities. Bartos knows the challenges of health education as she herself has a severe-to-profound hearing loss.

In this podcast, Bonnie Bartos talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The spectrum of hearing loss, including how hearing loss can affect speech.
  • Strategies to communicate clearly with people who have hearing loss.
  • Types of technology designed to help people with hearing loss.
  • Bartos’s story about how she lost hearing. And ways her service dogs help.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Osborne H (host), Cushman C (guest). “Health Education for Children with Disabilities (HLOL #89),” January 8, 2013. Podcast at http://healthliteracy.com/hlol-children-disabilities. Transcript at http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11492
  • Osborne H, Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition published by Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. One chapter is “Know Your Audience: Hearing Loss.” Available at http://www.jblearning.com/catalog/9781449600532/ and most online bookstores.
  • Osborne H, “Communicating About Health with ASL.” First published in On Call magazine, June 2003. Now available at http://healthliteracy.com/hlol-asl
  • Health Education in American Sign Language at http://www.deafmd.org
  • Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) at http://www.c-s-d.org
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) at http://www.asha.org
  • Search the internet or your state’s information for advocacy groups or organizations and services for deafness and hearing loss.

To read a transcript of this podcast, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11710

Communicating Clearly During Transitions in Care (HLOL #101)

BLUEJACKETPINCarol Levine directs the Families and Health Care Project at the United Hospital Fund in New York City. Levine has written extensively on family caregiving. Her next book, Living in the Land of Limbo: Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving, will be published in 2014 by Vanderbilt University Press.

In this podcast, Carol Levine talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What “transitions in care” are and why they matter so much today.
  • Why communication is often difficult during transitions in care.
  • How both health professionals and family caregivers can help improve understanding.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11698

Poetry and Other Artful Ways to Communicate Health Messages (HLOL #99)

EM Authors LiveElspeth Murray is a Scottish poet whose background is in cultural anthropology, health promotion, public health policy and patient involvement in cancer care. She also works with the Puppet State Theatre Company on their award-winning puppetry and storytelling production, “The Man Who Planted Trees” that has toured internationally for many years.

In this podcast, Elspeth Murray talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • “This is Bad Enough.” Murray reads her poem about why health communication is hard, along with ways to make it easier.
  • Using the arts to engage, entertain, and educate audiences.
  • Creating compelling health messages with poetry, whiteboard animation, videos, storytelling, and other artful ways.

More ways to learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11678

Talking About Jargon (HLOL #94)

Dean's photoDean Schillinger MD is Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California San Francisco and Chief of the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. Among his many responsibilities, Dr. Schillinger treats patients, teaches in the primary care residency program, and conducts research about healthcare for vulnerable populations. Dr. Schillinger is a well-published researcher, winner of many awards, and widely recognized as an expert in health literacy, health communication, and chronic disease prevention and management.

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

  • What jargon is and why it is often a problem in health communication.
  • A study showing that patients often do not understand jargon, even when jargon is clarified.
  • Recommendations about ways to more clearly communicate about health, along with a suggestion for more research.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Castro CM, Wilson D, Wang F, Schillinger D, “Babel Babble: Physicians’ Use of Unclarified Medical Jargon with Patients.” Am J Health Behavior, 2007;31(suppl 1):S85-S95.
  • Osborne H, “In Other Words…Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Other Healthcare Shorthand.” On Call magazine, April 10, 2008. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/abbreviations-acronyms

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11588

A Conversation About the Always Use Teach-back! Toolkit (HLOL #93)

2.5.13 Mary Ann Gail SuzanneAlways Use Teach-Back is a free, interactive, online toolkit for clinicians, office staff, and others who want to confirm that their health messages are understood. It helps them learn to use teach-back every time it is indicated – to support patients and families throughout the care continuum, especially during transitions between health care settings. Here’s a link to the Always Use Teach-Back! Toolkit, www.teachbacktraining.org

This podcast is a conversation with the three of the toolkit’s creators:

  • Mary Ann Abrams, MD, MPH, is a long-time health literacy champion. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Abrams has led the development of Health Literacy Iowa, Iowa’s Statewide Center for Health Literacy, and Iowa Health System’s health literacy quality initiative.
  • Suzanne Rita, RN, MSN, is a nurse, an educator, and the Improvement Learning Network Manager for Iowa Health System where she mentors improvement teams and serves as an advisor to system-wide efforts.
  • Gail Nielsen is the Director of Learning and Innovation at Iowa Health System. She also is a Fellow, faculty member, and Patient Safety Scholar of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with these three guests about:

  • What the teach-back technique is, who should use it, and why.
  • How to help others make a habit of the teach-back technique.
  • Features of the Always Use Teach-Back! Toolkit
  • Ways that individuals, systems, and organizations can use the toolkit.

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11575

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