Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A common health language

The newsletter ADVANCE for Health Information Management Professionals has a really nice brief article on health literacy, "Dream of a Common Health Language" by Shawn Proctor. The article a few simple but striking examples from the world of respiratory therapy to illustrate signs and potential implications of low health literacy.
For Mari Jones, RRT, FNP, AE-C, the predicament hit home when she found her college-educated father struggling to understand his doctor's instructions. He had returned home knowing he should stop taking one of three medications. But he was unclear as to which one. He didn't want to admit he didn't understand.
The article mentions The Newest Vital Sign, a health literacy test that Pfizer makes freely available and the NN/LM health literacy page.

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