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

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

Animal-Human Bond in Healthcare (HLOL #70)

Alice Villalobos, DVM, DPNAP is Director of Pawspice in Hermosa Beach and Animal Oncology Consultation Service in Woodland Hills, CA. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Villalobos is a founding member of the Veterinary Cancer Society and president of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics. She writes and lectures worldwide on veterinary oncology, quality of life, bioethics, palliative/hospice care for animals, and the human-animal bond.

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

  • How the animal-human bond enriches people, pets, and the environment.
  • Ways that animals help humans during sickness as well as health.
  • Strategies practitioners can use when talking with patients who have pets.

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:

 

Creating, Finding, and Growing in a Health Literacy Career (HLOL #60)

Geri Lynn Baumblatt has been working on health literacy projects for many years. As the editorial director at Emmi Solutions, she creates and maintains Emmi Solutions’ interactive patient education programs. Geri is also a podcaster and hosts an annual series for Health Literacy Month on the blog: Engaging the Patient.

In this podcast Baumblatt talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How her health literacy journey began with an interest in science, graduate study in literature, and frustration with being a patient.
  • Why clarity and simplicity are needed for multimedia patient education projects.
  • Tips, strategies, lessons learned for people seeking health literacy careers.

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…]

From the Tooth’s Point of View: Communicating Serious Health Messages with Wit and Whimsy (HLOL #58)

Jeanette Courtad DDS is a practicing dentist. She has worked with patients of all ages—from outreach programs at primary schools to now being the dentist at the Colorado School of Mines Student Health Center.

Dr. Courtad is also an artist with a lifetime of experience painting, dancing, and sculpting. She combines her artistic talents with a passion for educating children about the need for better oral hygiene in her new book, Toothful Tales: How We Survived the Sweet Attack.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why preventive health messages are often difficult to communicate.
  • Ways to draw attention to your message with empathy, wit, and whimsy.
  • Strategies that work with children, young adults, and even parents.

More Ways to Learn:

Texting Important Health Messages (HLOL #57)

Julie Gazmararian PhD is Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has over 25 years of experience conducting public health research in both the public and private sector. Her research focuses on a range of topics including reproductive health, children’s health, health promotion, and health literacy.

Dr. Gazmararian has published many articles on health literacy topics including medication refill adherence and use of preventive services. Now she is evaluating an innovative project called “Text4Baby” that brings together text messaging with prenatal/newborn care.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How “Text4Baby” is being used to teach about prenatal and newborn care.
  • Why text messaging is a communication tool to consider now.
  • What researchers are learning early in the evaluation process.
  • Recommendations for using text messaging in your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Text4Baby. Available for free at http://text4baby.org
  • Osborne H. “In Other Words…Using text messages to improve medication adherence,” On Call magazine. September 18, 2008. Available athttp://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=7987
  • Archer N, Cocosila M, Haynes RB, Yuan Y. “Can wireless text messaging improve adherence to preventive activities? Results of a randomised controlled trial.” International Journal of Medical Informatics. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Balas EA, Boren SA, Krishna S. “Healthcare via cell phones: a systematic review.” Journal of the American Telemedicine Association. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Chen WS, Leong KC, bLeong KW, Mastura I, Mimi O, Ng CJ, Phua KL, Sheikh MA, Teng CL, Zailinawati AH. “The use of text messaging to improve attendance in primary care: a randomized controlled trial.” Family Practice. (2006). PubMed. Web. 30 Dec. 2009.
  • Fry JP, Neff RA. “Periodic prompts and reminders in health promotion and health behavior interventions: systematic review.” Journal of Medical Internet Research. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Haller DM, Patton GC, Sanci LA, Sawyer SM. “Text message communication in primary care research: a randomized controlled trial.” Family Practice. (2009). PubMed. Web. 30 Dec. 2009.

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

Blogging to Communicate the Experience of Illness (HLOL #53)

Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, is the founder and president of Stress Resources based in Concord, Massachusetts. She specializes in stress management, health communication, and holistic healthcare. Pam is an early adopter of social media, especially using it as a tool of health communication. Her graduate research looks at the experience of illness through patient blogging and the use of social media as a means to increase patient engagement.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What blogging is and why it matters to both patients and providers.
  • Ways that blogging reflects the experience of illness and fosters resilience.
  • Practical strategies and resources for those new to blogging.

More Ways to Learn:

There are many ways to contact Pam and learn about her work:

Blogging references and examples include:

Reach Out and Read: Encouraging Literacy and Health Literacy from Childhood On (HLOL #52)

Perri Klass, MD, FAAP, is the National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read—a non-profit initiative that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide. Reach Out and Read gives new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Beyond her work with Reach Out and Read, Dr. Klass is a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University and also works at Bellevue Hospital Clinic. She served on the Health Literacy Project Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition, Dr. Klass is a widely published author of both fiction and nonfiction, who writes frequently about topics concerning children and health. She also writes about her ongoing interest in knitting.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Reach Out and Read, a program to encourage early literacy and promote reading aloud.
  • Why it is important to address literacy in well-child pediatric visits.
  • The intersection of literacy, learning, and health from childhood on.

More Ways to Learn: