Diagnosing Your Practice with Low Health Literacy (HLOL #96)

D in officeDarren DeWalt, MD, is practicing physician and associate professor in the division of general internal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He researches ways that patients with low-literacy can self-manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, COPD, and asthma. He also looks at how practices can achieve better outcomes through patient-physician communication and health system design. Dr. DeWalt is the lead author of AHRQ’s Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit.

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

  • Universal precautions and health literacy. How combining these concepts can help patients better understand health information.
  • A tool to “diagnose” if your practice has low health literacy.
  • Ways to prioritize health literacy problems and implement effective solutions.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11619

How Visual Cues Help Readers Read (HLOL #95)

JosiahFiskAugust2012Josiah Fisk is founder and president of More Carrot, a firm that combines plain language with information design to create simplified, user-centric documents. While Fisk often works on consumer financial products, he also has experience with healthcare providers, software companies, and the IRS. More Carrot is a global company with offices in Boston and Luxembourg.

In this podcast, Josiah Fisk talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How information design improves readability and navigation.
  • Ways that visual cues make it easier for readers to complete forms and other business or informational documents.
  • Suggestions about using photos, spacing, sub-headings, and other design elements in healthcare documents.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11603

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, http://www.teachbacktraining.com

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

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

Writing About Health for the New York Times (HLOL #90)

IMG_0815Theresa Brown, BSN, RN, OCN, is a hospital staff nurse who writes a monthly opinion column for the New York Times called “Bedside.” Her writing focuses on health care policy issues, with particular attention given to the importance of nurses to quality care. Theresa has been a guest on numerous radio shows and on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” She contributes regularly to health care blogs and magazines, and even was invited to the White House. She also is author of the text, Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between.

In this podcast, Theresa Brown talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How she got started as a nurse. And as a writer.
  • How writing for the public differs from writing for professionals.
  • Issues to consider including: finding topics, protecting patient confidentiality, and receiving reader feedback.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11508

Health Education for Children with Disabilities (HLOL #89)

cushman_photoCharlotte Cushman, M.L.S., M.Ed., is Project Manager for the Training and Educational Resources Program at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. She has been a classroom teacher and an international educational consultant for Perkins, and also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa.

In this podcast, Charlotte Cushman talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Understanding the learning challenges of students who are blind, deaf-blind, or have other physical and cognitive disabilities.
  • Using tactile objects, picture books, technology, clear explanations, and other strategies to teach about health.
  • Working as a team with the student, family members, teachers, and interpreters.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a transcript of this podcast, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11492

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

Choosing A Health Plan: Ways to Make This Experience Easier and More Consumer-Friendly (HLOL #87)

Lynn Quincy is a senior health policy analyst for Consumers Union–the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports. Quincy works on a wide variety of health policy issues that often focus on consumer protections, consumers’ health insurance literacy, and health insurance reform at the federal and state levels.

In this podcast, Quincy talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Choosing a health plan. Why this task is often so hard for consumers.
  • Ways to make this experience easier and more consumer-friendly.
  • Strategies to help, including: choice architecture, cognitive shortcuts, stories, visuals, and doing the math for consumers.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11463

Making Research Consent Forms Easier for Patients to Understand (HLOL #86)

Kristofer (Kris) Griffith is Manager of Human Research Regulations at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Among his many responsibilities, Griffith manages regulatory aspects of human subjects research as submitted through their Office of Protocol Research, edits the Human Subjects Research Bulletin and, along with an editorial staff, maintains MD Anderson’s Adverse Events Database.

In this podcast, Kris Griffith talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why research consent forms are so very difficult to write. And understand.
  • Strategies to help, including: listing side effects, using consistent and clear wording, formatting pages, and writing short summaries.
  • Useful tools, resources, and ways to learn more.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11407

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:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11285

Clearly Communicating Scientific Information (HLOL #83)

David Nelson MD, MPH is Director of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute. Prior to this position, Dr. Nelson worked as an epidemiologist and health communication scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is the author, co-author, or lead author of numerous books and over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

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

  • Why it can be hard to communicate scientific information to lay audiences.
  • Ways to communicate clearly–beginning with an understanding of your audience, their beliefs, and communication goals.
  • How to tell a scientific story using data, metaphor, visuals, and examples.
  • What to consider when weighing the “ethics of simplicity.”

More ways to learn:

  • Nelson DE, Hesse BW, Croyle RT (2009). Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press. Oxford University Press.
  • National Cancer Institute, US Department of Health and Human Services (2011). Making Data Talk: A Workbook. At http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/cancerlibrary/MDT-Workbook.pdf
  • Parvanta C, Nelson DE, Parvanta SA, Harner RN (2010). Essentials of Public Health Communication. Jones and Bartlett Learning.
  • Remington PL, Nelson DE, Parvanta C (2002). Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: A Guide for Practitioners. American Public Health Association.
  • Osborne H (2004). “In Other Words…The Ethics of Simplicity,” On Call magazine. Available at www.healthliteracy.com/ethics-of-simplicity
  • Rosling, Hans (2010). “The Joy of Stats,” Wingspan Productions for BBC. At http://www.gapminder.org/videos/the-joy-of-stats/

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11280

 

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

Using Twitter and Other Social Media to Communicate About Health Literacy (HLOL #80)

Jessica N. Rowden, MA, CHES is Manager for Health Communication and eHealth at ODPHP (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Jessica coordinates and manages health communication activities for a variety of programs including healthfinder.gov, health.gov, and Healthy People 2020. Jessica also oversees ODPHP’s health literacy initiatives, specializing in online health literacy.

In this podcast, Jessica Rowden talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Ways that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media are like conversations with your audience.
  • Strategies and tools to engage the audience, monitor their participation, and organize messages that you send, receive, and follow.
  • Resources, examples, and ways to learn more about social media.

More Ways to Learn:

ODPHD social media links:

Helen Osborne’s social media links:

Online tools, include:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11206

Understanding One Another Even When Language and Accents Differ (HLOL #79)

Barbara Hoekje, Ph.D, is associate professor of communication in the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University. She also directs Drexel University’s English Language Center. Hoekje’s focus is about furthering communication and understanding between people of different language and cultural backgrounds. For many years, she has worked with international graduate teaching assistants and international medical graduates in the United States.

In this podcast, Barbara Hoekje talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why the U.S. healthcare workforce is becoming increasingly diverse.
  • How speech patters differ even among those who speak the same language and come from the same country.
  • Strategies that providers and patients can use to improve oral understanding.
  • Ways to set a tone that welcomes everyone into our larger world family.

More ways to learn:

To contact Barbara Hoekje: Hoekje@drexel.edu or 215 895-2067.

For instructors of international doctors/healthcare professionals:

Hoekje B, Tipton S, English Language and the Medical Profession: Instructing and Assessing the Communication Skills of International Physicians (2011, Emerald Press).

For patients and others on the receiving end of health communication: Books, tapes, other resources on nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

For foreign born doctors and others health professionals:

  • Resources from the website of the acculturation program of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) (www.ecfmg.org/acculturation/index.html)
  • Chapter on “Language and Communication” by Barbara Hoekje and Marta van Zanten in The International Medical Graduate’s Guide to US Medicine & Residency Training (by P. Alguirre, G. Whelan, and V. Rajput), published by the American College of Physicians, 2008.
  • Practice materials, such as Good practice: Communication skills in English for the medical practitioner (by Marie McCullagh and Roz Wright, published by Cambridge University Press); book and CD

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11178

A Tool That Pictures Pain (HLOL #78)

Kim Kristiansen MD lives and works in Denmark. He not only is practicing physician but also CEO of a company called EvidenceProfile ApS. Dr. Kristiansen’s work often focuses on pain, pain management, and pain research. He, along with two colleagues, invented DoloTest®– a validated, multidimensional pain assessment tool that actively involves the patient.

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

  • Why it is so important, yet difficult, for providers and patients to talk about pain.
  • How chronic (persistent) pain affects many aspects of a person’s life.
  • Ways DoloTest® helps patients and providers reach a shared understanding about pain.

More Ways to Learn:

To read the written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11155

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

Ergonomics–Staying Healthy When Using Technology (HLOL #76)

Karen Jacobs Ed.D., OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA is an occupational therapist and a board certified ergonomist. Her extensive list of accomplishments includes being a professor and program director for the post-professional distance education OT programs at Boston University and editing/ authoring numerous books and articles. She is the founding editor of WORK and former president and vice president of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

A primary focus of Dr. Jacobs’ research is about ergonomics. Specifically, how using notebook computers, tablets, backpacks, and other technology affects students of all ages. Ergonomics matters to professionals, too. In this podcast, Karen Jacobs talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Ergonomics: How workplace tools, equipment, and the environment affects individuals and populations
  • Why ergonomics matters to health communicators
  • What we can do to stay healthy when using technology

More Ways to Learn:

To read the written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11132

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

Advocacy: From Aha to Action (HLOL #74)

Rich Sagall MD is a retired family physician. About 25 years ago, he left clinical practice to devote all his efforts to running NeedyMeds – offering information about programs to help those who are medically needy. Beyond his work with NeedyMeds, Dr. Sagall also publishes the newsletter, Pediatrics for Parents.

In this podcast, Dr. Sagall talks with Helen Osborne about his journey from being a practicing physician to following his passion and creating a non-profit organization. Topics include:

  • Journey from clinical practice to following your interests and passion
  • Lessons learned about starting and sustaining a non-profit business
  • Finding inspiration in unexpected places

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, click here: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11110

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

Power of Stories in Patient and Family-Centered Care (HLOL #72)

Marlene Fondrick helps patients share their stories as a way to advance the practice of patient and family-centered care. This work builds on Fondrick’s clinical and administrative experiences as a nurse and hospital vice president. Fondrick adds to this mix her perspective as grandmother of a young child who was diagnosed with cancer.

In this podcast, Marlene Fondrick talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The power of stories in patient- and family-centered care.
  • Examples of real-life stories that have made a difference in patient care.
  • Ways to help patients share their stories, including the most important questions to ask.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. Available at http://www.ipfcc.org/
  • Crocker L, Johnson B, Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connection in Health Care. 2006, Bull Publishing Company.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words…Tool of Change: Telling and Listening to Stories,” On Call, October 16, 2008. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/telling-stories

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