Patient-Oriented Discharge Summaries: Helping Patients Easily Understand Their Transition from Hospital to Home (HLOL #198)

Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg, PhD is a scientist and project lead at the University Health Network’s OpenLab in Canada. She works with a multi-disciplinary team to discover and create solutions to issues in the health system using techniques that span design, research, and operational modeling. Shoshana Hanh-Goldberg manages the Patient Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS) project that is being used at over 20 hospitals in Ontario, Canada.

In this podcast, Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • PODS. What this discharge tool is, why it was needed, and how it helps.
  • Creating this form with those it is designed to help. That includes working closely with people who have language barriers and limited health literacy.
  • Using plain language and health literacy principles throughout. That includes a conversational tone, limited number of topics, clear headings, interactive checkboxes, icons, and plenty of space for patients to write notes.
  • Ways to access and adapt PODS for use in your own setting.

More ways to learn:


Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 12 is especially relevant to this podcast, “Forms and Other Reading-to-Do Documents.”

Read the transcript of this podcast