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Health Literacy: Practical Approaches

Overview and practical approaches for healthcare providers

Creating a Shame Free Environment

  •  Adopt attitude of helpfulness by every person there
  •  Offer help in privacy of exam room
  •  Be alert to clues as incomplete forms, social history information, insights from reviewing their medications with them
  • Avoid bias - be sensitive to different culture/ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, physical appearances, etc
  • Improve communication skills
  • Speak slowly with little or no jargon
  • Use open ended questions
  • Read nonverbal clues
  • Convey most important concepts  (2 or 3)
  • Involve family members
  • Use teach back method, have them restate what  was  told


From Health Literacy: Hidden Barriers and Practical Strategies (AHRQ)
          
Eight Ways to Improve Patient Communications (Physicians Practice)