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:

Communicating about Health with Older Adults (HLOL #50)

Carolyn Ijams Speros DNSc, FNP-BC, is a nationally recognized expert in nursing and patient education. Throughout her career, she has worked in nursing education, nursing administration, and advanced nursing practice with a focus on systems and strategies in nursing that promote patient education and health literacy. Dr. Speros is Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Memphis and also maintains a practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about communicating with older adults. Topics include:

  • Special learning needs of older adults due to cognitive, psychological, and physical changes associated with aging.
  • Strategies to communicate effectively, even when there is limited time.
  • Respectful ways to assess and confirm that information is understood.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Dr. Carolyn Speros is Associate Professor at the University of Memphis Loewenberg School of Nursing. You can email her directly at csperos@memphis.edu
  • Speros CI, “More than Words: Promoting Health Literacy in Older Adults,” The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 2009; 14(3). Available at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/717469
  • Speros CI, “Health Literacy: Concept Analysis,” Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2005; 50(6), 633-640.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective. Part 9: Material for older adults. Available at http://www.cms.gov/WrittenMaterialsToolkit/11_ToolkitPart09.asp#TopOfPage
  • Knowles M, 1990. The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species, 4th ed. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company.
  • Knowles M, 1980. The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Cambridge Adult Education.
  • Osborne H (host), Stuen C (guest), September 8, 2009. Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast #21: Age-Related Vision Loss. Available at http://www.healthliteracyoutloud.com/2009/09/08/hlol-21-age-related-vision-loss/
  • Osborne H, 2005. Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Jones & Bartlett: Sudbury, MA.

Click here for a transcript of this podcast.

Decision Support for Patients Making Life-Changing Choices (HLOL #49)

Jeff Belkora PhD is a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). There he runs the Medical Center’s Decision Services program, helping patients weigh the risks and benefits of their treatment options. Belkora also consults with outside organizations about decision support for patients making life-changing choices. In all this work, Belkora’s focus is on leadership, teamwork, and decision-making.

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How decision support helps patients reflect critically on life-changing choices.
  • Strategies and systems to help patients understand decisions and communicate effectively.
  • Lessons learned that listeners can use in day-to-day practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Using Advertising Principles in Public Health Campaigns (HLOL #48)

Michael Mackert PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on using traditional and new digital media to provide health education to audiences of all levels, interests, and familiarity with health. Mackert is an advocate of using advertising principles in public health campaigns. In this podcast, he talks about:

  • Advertising and public health campaigns. How these strategies are alike and how they differ.
  • Ways to use social media and traditional press to promote your public health message.
  • Stories, examples, and practical suggestions you can use right away.

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:

Universal Design and Health Communication (HLOL #46)

Valerie Fletcher is Executive Director of the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) —a non-profit international educational and design company based in Boston, MA. In this work, she oversees a wide range of projects focused on making the world and the web inclusive and accessible to all.

Valerie started as a textile designer, creating clothing for women as they age. She now applies design principles to physical spaces as well as to communication, information, policies, and attitudes. Valerie’s focus is international, serving as an advisor to the Singapore government as well as to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What is universal design? How does it apply to health communication?
  • How universal design helps people of all functional limitations, not just those with disabilities.
  • Practical strategies to improve health communication in person, in print, and on the web.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Valerie Fletcher is the Executive Director of the Institute for Human-Centered Design in Boston, MA. You can email her directly at vfletcher@HumanCenteredDesign.org
  • Institute for Human-Centered Design, www.humancentereddesign.org
  • Bright, Keith and Geoffrey Cook. The Colour, Light and Contrast Manual: Designing and Managing Inclusive Built Environments. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Keates, Simeon and Clarkson, J. Countering Design Exclusion: An Introduction to Inclusive Design.  London: Springer – Verlag, 2003.
  • Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2002.
  • Preiser, Wolfgang, Editor in Chief; Korydon Smith, Senior Editor. Universal Design Handbook, 2nd Edition. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill, 2010.
  • Osborne H, “In Other Words…Communicating Across a Life Span…Universal Design in Print and Web-based Communication, On Call magazine, January 2001. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3812
  • World Wide Web Accessibility Initiative, http://www.w3.org/WAI/

Click here for a transcript of this podcast.

Interactive Multimedia in Health Education (HLOL #45)

Karen Baker is Senior Vice President for Consumer Experience at Healthwise–a non-profit health communications company based in Boise, Idaho. As a team, Healthwise developed an interactive multimedia educational series called “Conversations.”

“Conversation on Dealing With Low Back Pain” recently received a top award for outstanding communication from the Center for Plain Language. Baker talks about the process that Healthwise used to develop, test, and implement this interactive, innovative educational tool.

Topics include:

  • How interactive multimedia can help people learn about their health.
  • Communicating important messages with metaphors, characterization, graphics, humor, and other creative strategies.
  • Working as a team to create, test, and implement innovative projects.
  • Lessons learned that listeners can use in day-to-day practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Communication from a Native American Perspective (HLOL #44)

Linda Burhansstipanov MSPH, DrPH (or as many people say, “Linda B”) is of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She has worked in public health for many years, taught at several universities, and is involved with a lot of research including the NIH funded projects, “Native American Cancer Education for Survivors” and “Native Navigators and the Cancer Continuum.”

Linda B created and oversees the Native American Cancer Research website which is used not only by Native Americans but also by people from around the world. Linda is the author of nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles and advises many healthcare organizations about issues affecting Native Americans.

In this podcast, Linda B talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Native American concerns related to health and cancer
  • Communication strategies including stories, metaphors, and pictures
  • Creating a website with a strong cultural identity
  • Lessons learned that health communicators can use with all audiences

More Ways to Learn:

  • You can email Linda B at LindaB@natamcancer.net. But please know that it may take her a few days to reply as she may be in areas with no Internet connection.
  • Native American Cancer Research Website, available at www.natamcancer.org

Press Ganey’s CEO Talks about Analyzing Sentiments to Improve Healthcare Quality (HLOL #43)

Rick Siegrist is the CEO of Press Ganey – a worldwide company that helps more than 10,000 healthcare organizations measure and improve the quality of their care. For many years, Press Ganey learned about the patient experience mostly through satisfaction surveys. Now it is learning even more by analyzing the sentiments (comments) that patients write on these surveys.

Looking at satisfaction data along with patients’ sentiments is proving to be an effective way of understanding many aspects of the patient’s experience, including health communication.

In this podcast, Rick Siegrist talks about:

  • Using satisfaction surveys to learn about and improve healthcare quality.
  • Analyzing sentiments – a way to translate human emotion into hard data.
  • Bridging sentiments, satisfaction and health communication in your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Mapping Health Literacy “Hot Spots” (HLOL #42)

Laurie Martin, ScD MPH is a policy researcher with the RAND Corporation. Her interests focus on understanding the role of health literacy from both an individual and community perspective. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Martin and colleagues developed an interactive mapping tool that identifies health literacy “hot spots” — geographic areas of suboptimal health or healthcare that may be due to low health literacy.

A prototype is being used in Missouri. The goal is to expand nationwide, providing tools that researchers and practitioners can use to target health literacy interventions in ways that are efficient and cost-effective. In this podcast, Dr. Martin talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Health literacy from a population perspective. How this differs from an individual perspective.
  • Using a predictive model to estimate and map community-level health literacy.
  • Lessons learned to apply on a population level, individual level, and community level.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from a Literacy Perspective (HLOL #41)

John Comings EdD is Principal International Technical Advisor at the Education Development Center in Newton, MA. Prior to this, he was Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) and a member of the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Comings’s research and writing focuses on the impact of adult literacy programs and factors that predict persistence of adult education students in the U.S. and Third World countries. In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The literacy part of health literacy, including components of reading skills
  • The health part of health literacy, including functional skills within health contexts
  • Practical literacy strategies that health professionals can use today
  • Ways the health system can collaborate with the adult literacy system

More Ways to Learn:

Assessing Readability in the European Union (HLOL #40)

Mark Gibson MA is a Consumer Information Specialist based in Leeds, England. He is a linguist, translator, and journalist who now focuses on readability testing and information design. Building on his research in patient communication, Mark designs information that is appropriate for diverse audiences – including those with limited English proficiency, low literacy skills, and sight loss.

In this podcast he compares and contrasts ways to assess readability in the European Union (EU) and the United States. Topics include:

  • Assessing readability: How does the system used in the EU compare to that in the United States?
  • EU process of assessing readability: What works well and what does not?
  • Lessons learned and resources that listeners can use right away.

More Ways to Learn:

National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy (HLOL #39)

Cynthia Baur, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor for Health Literacy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She co-chairs several federal health literacy initiatives, including the workgroup for Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology.

Dr. Baur is the lead author for the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and helped develop CDC’s online health literacy training for health professionals. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about the National Plan to Improve Health LiteracyTopics include:

  • How the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was developed with input from researchers, practitioners, and community members.
  • Ways individuals and organizations can use this health literacy action plan.
  • A national and international perspective about health literacy.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Numeracy: Helping Patients Understand Numeric Concepts (HLOL #38)

Andrea J. Apter, MD, MA, MSc is a practicing physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her specialty is treating patients diagnosed with asthma. Before she was a doctor, Apter was a math teacher who worked with students from 6th grade on.

Both as a doctor and as a teacher, Apter knows the challenges of communicating numeric concepts in health education. To help, she along with collaborators, have proposed a model to make this task easier for all.

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

  • Why numeracy matters in healthcare and preventive medicine.
  • Strategies to improve understanding that givers and receivers of health information can use today.
  • Thoughts about long-term solutions & need for health numeracy research.

More ways to learn:

  • Apter AJ et al (2008), “Numeracy and Communication with Patients: They Are Counting on Us,” Journal of General Internal Medicine 23(12):2117-24.
  • Apter AJ et al (2009), “Linking numeracy and asthma-related quality of life,” Patient Education and Counseling 75: 386-391.
  • Apter AJ et al (2006), “Asthma Numeracy Skill and Health Literacy,” Journal of Asthma, 43:705-710.
  • Golbeck AL, Ahlers-Schmidt CR, Paschal AM, and Dismuke SE (2005), “A Definition and Operational Framework for Health Numeracy,” American Journal of Preventative Medicine 29(4):375-376.
  • Osborne H, (2007) “In Other Words…Health Numeracy: How Do Patients Handle the Concept of Quantity When It Relates to Their Health?” On Call Magazine, http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=6509
  • Osborne H, (2004) “In Other Words…Working With Numbers,” On Call Magazinehttp://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3745
  • Osborne H, (2004) Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett. http://www.jblearning.com/catalog/0763745502

Click here for a transcript of this episode: [Read more…]

Folktales as Tools for Healing (HLOL #37)

Wendy Welch PhD is a folklorist and storyteller. She is on the faculty of the Healthy Appalachia Institute and teaches Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Wendy has served on the Board of Directors for the US National Storytelling Network and was on the National Storytelling Board in the UK.

Beyond these many professional achievements, Wendy co-owns a used bookstore, tours as storytelling performer and instructor, and is an accomplished craftswoman. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about using folktales, personal stories, fairy tales, and urban legends as tools for healing. Topics include:

  • Using folktales with people of all ages, abilities, and cultures.
  • Using folktales to motivate behavior change.
  • Using folktales in community based participatory research.
  • Using folktales in your practice and getting more involved with research.

More ways to learn:

  • Wendy Welch welcomes hearing your story about using folktales as tools for healing. You can email Wendy directly at wow6n@uvawise.edu
  • Healthy Appalachia Institute, http://www.uvawise.edu/health
  • National Storytelling Network, http://www.storynet.org
  • Osborne, H “In other words…Tools of change: Telling and listening to stories,” On Call magazine, October 16, 2008. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=8051
  • Pantheon and Dolch are publishing houses that do and did (respectively) collections of fairy tales and multicultural folktales. Welch advises that if you find collections from either publisher (at a second-hand bookstore, perhaps) then you can rest assured they will be good.

The Healing Power of Humor & Play (HLOL #36)

Izzy Gesell M.ED, CSP knows a lot about the healing power of humor and play. With degrees in psychology and education, Izzy brings energy and joy to all he does – whether he’s working as a special education teacher, a stand-up comic, or an organizational consultant.

Izzy not only is funny in his own right but also teaches others how to use humor and play. He is the author of numerous publications including Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater and Cancer and the Healing Power of Play.

In this podcast, Izzy talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How humor & play can add positive energy, build bridges, and create bonds.
  • Knowing when, and when not, to use humor in health communication.
  • Being humorous, even when you think you’re not funny.

More Ways to Learn:

Talking about Interactive Health Literacy & Oral Communication (HLOL #35)

Donald Rubin, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Speech Communication, of Language & Literacy Education, and of Linguistics at the University of Georgia. He is also senior researcher at that institution’s Center for Health and Risk Communication.

Much of Dr. Rubin’s work focuses on assessment, training, and analysis of oral communication, including listenability. His current research looks at 1) health literacy and health communication message design, 2) public health workforce development in communication to reduce health disparities, and 3) assessment of language proficiency among non-native speakers of English.

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

  • Interactive health literacy. How do written and spoken communication differ?
  • The communication environment. How physical and linguistic aspects affect communication.
  • Older adults. A research study about their distinct communication needs.
  • Practical strategies. How all health professionals can invite patients/consumers to participate verbally in their health care encounters.

More ways to learn:

Click here for a transcript of this episode: [Read more…]

Creating Usable, Useful Health Websites for Readers at All Levels (HLOL #34)

Stacy Robison MPH, CHES is co-founder of CommunicateHealth — a consulting company based in Northampton, Massachusetts. As a certified health educator, Stacy uses plain language to meet the learning needs of audiences with limited health literacy skills.

For the past three years, Stacy has been writing and designing health content for Quick Guide to Healthy Living — part of the award-winning healthfinder.gov Web site from the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. This site has been tested and developed with close to 800 Web users, most of whom have limited health literacy skills.

In this podcast, Stacy Robison talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How people with limited literacy skills, health literacy skills, or limited time use online health information.
  • What is different when communicating about wellness and prevention (health promotion) v. communicating about diagnosis and treatment (health care).
  • Ways to design health content so that Web users can, and will, take action.

More ways to learn:

Click here to read a transcript of this episode: http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11757

Social Media & Health Literacy (HLOL #33)

Lee Aase is manager of Syndication and Social Media for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. There, he works with a team to develop medical news for the mainstream media. He also uses social media to create in-depth and extended relationships with key stakeholders.

When not working at his “day job,” Lee is the Chancellor of Social Media University Global (SMUG) — a free online resource he created to provide practical, hands-on training in social media for lifelong learners. In all situations, Lee makes it his personal mission is to help people get comfortable with social media.

In this podcast, Lee Aase talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • “Social media pyramid” of: Twitter and micro-blogs; Facebook and other networking sites; Web audio (podcasts) and video (YouTube); Blogs.
  • How newcomers can get started and why they should.
  • Examples of using social media to communicate about health.

Ways to learn more:

Teachable Moments: Using Celebrity to Teach About Health (HLOL #32)

Michele Berman, MD is a pediatrician who has practiced in hospitals and pediatric centers across the United States. She also has authored numerous articles, many of them about the practical side of parenting.  But now Dr. Berman is taking on a new role as Managing Partner and Chief Medical Officer of the website, Celebrity Diagnosis.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about ways to make the most of teachable moments and use celebrity news to teach about health.

Topics include:

  • How “teachable moments” provide context for new learning
  • Why and how this website connects celebrity with health
  • Lessons learned that all health communicators can apply

More Ways to Learn:

A Participatory Approach for Communicating with Diverse Audiences (HLOL #31)

Linda Neuhauser, DrPH, is Clinical Professor of Community Health and Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Her work focuses on translating research into improved health interventions and mass communication. Dr. Neuhauser is especially interested in participatory approaches that meet the literacy, linguistic, and cultural needs of diverse audiences. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the UC Berkeley Health Research for Action Center that uses participatory design to create, implement and evaluate communication initiatives that have now reached over 30 million people.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about participatory and user-centered approaches to health communication.

Topics include:

  • Communication challenges for both givers and receivers of information
  • A structured approach to participatory, user-centered design
  • Overcoming objections of limited time, money, or other resources

More Ways to Learn:

  • Neuhauser L, Rothschild R, Graham C, et al. “Participatory Design of Mass Health Communication in Three Languages for Seniors and People With Disabilities on Medicaid,” American Journal of Public Health. 2009;99 (12).
  • Neuhauser L, Constantine WI, Constantine NA, et al. “Promoting Prenatal and Early Childhood Health: Evaluation of a Statewide Materials-based intervention for Parents. American Journal of Public Health. 2007;97(10):1813-1819.
  • Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast #13: Len & Ceci Doak Discuss Health Literacy’s Past, Present, and Future (includes a discussion of the SAM materials assessment tool), Available at http://www.healthliteracyoutloud.com/2009/03/23/hlol-13-len-ceci-doak-discuss-health-literacy’s-past-present-and-future/

To read the written transcript, go to http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11864 [Read more…]

Making a Business Case to Move Health Literacy Forward (HLOL #30)

David Walsh is a principal in the consulting firm, SmartLaunch based in Havertown, PA. With expertise in strategic and business planning, marketing and financial management, Walsh helps non-profit and for-profit businesses manage change, maximize opportunities, and launch new ventures.

Walsh recently helped develop a business case for Health Literacy Missouri and worked to launch them as a new, independent non-profit business entity. In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about the importance of using proven business principles to move health literacy forward. Topics include:

  • Knowing why you need to make a business case for health literacy
  • Using the language of business (key terms and acronyms)
  • Creating a workable and measurable business plan
  • Understanding business drivers, goals, and the importance of focus

More Ways to Learn:

Click here to read the written transcript of this podcast. [Read more…]

Using Design to Get Readers to Read and Keep Reading (HLOL #29)

Karen Karen SchriverSchriver, PhD is President of KSA Communication Design and Research, a consultancy located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is former professor of rhetoric and information design at Carnegie Mellon University where she co-directed the graduate programs in professional writing and information design.

Dr. Schriver’s first book, Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Texts for Readers—now in its 9th printing—is regarded as an essential text in its field. Winner of ten national awards for her work, Schriver is writing two new books: the first on developing expertise in information design, and the second on visual and verbal design moves to engage readers online.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about using good information design to get readers to read, and keep reading. Topics include:

  • Using good information design to help readers feel valued and respected
  • Being a visual detective, observing what works and what doesn’t
  • Engaging readers with contrast, consistency, grouping, and other design moves

More Ways to Learn:

Read a transcript of this podcast

 

Applying Adult Education Principles to Medicine & Public Health (HLOL #28)

Dr. Winston Lawrence Winston Lawrence knows a lot about adult literacy education and community health. He works at the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC), a non-profit adult literacy organization providing professional development and technical assistance to the adult literacy community throughout New York City.

In this work, Dr. Lawrence oversees the city-wide implementation of LAC’s Health Literacy Initiative. He trains teachers and health professionals about health literacy principles and strategies. He also facilitates partnerships between literacy agencies and health care institutions.

In this podcast he talks with Helen Osborne about ways to apply adult literacy principles to medicine and public health. Topics include:

  • Why and how a literacy organization got involved with health literacy
  • How teaching practical health literacy skills helps teachers and students alike
  • Ways health literacy partnerships benefit both literacy and health programs
  • Resources to start building health literacy partnerships near you

More Ways to Learn:

CAHPS Health Literacy Item Set: An Interview with Dr. Carolyn Clancy (HLOL #27)

Clancy, CarolynCarolyn M. Clancy, M.D., is a general internist, health services researcher and director of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Rockville, Maryland. Throughout her career, Dr. Clancy has been an advocate for improving the health care system. Her major research interests include improving health care quality and patient safety, and reducing disparities in care associated with patients’ race, ethnicity, gender, income, and education.

In 2009, Dr. Clancy was chosen as the most powerful physician-executive by the readers of Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician magazines. She was also awarded the 2009 William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research.

In this podcast she talks with Helen Osborne about AHRQ’s new CAHPS Health Literacy Item Set. Topics include:

  • Health literacy and how it relates to quality, safety, and patient care
  • CAHPS Health Literacy Item Set: A way to measure patients’ experience of care and communication
  • Vision for the future with health literacy as part of every practice

More Ways to Learn: