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Teaching Key Messages to Groups in Transition: Ensuring Understanding

Posted by Regina Carlisle, BSN, RN on Oct 2, 2015 11:01:09 AM

Many of us know the merits of the Teach-Back Method and its value in health literacy by confirming patient understanding of our teaching. For those who are not familiar with the Teach Back Method, see the website www.teachbacktraining.org or the “Use the Teach-Back Method” section in the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd Edition.  

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Topics: Health Literacy

Health Literacy Universal Precautions: Beyond Patient Understanding

Posted by Stan Hudson on Oct 1, 2015 9:23:00 AM


The health literacy universal precautions movement is gaining traction as more and more professionals realize that whenever they speak to a patient, caregiver, or family member there is a risk of misunderstanding and that we can employ strategies like plain language with everyone to reduce these risks. However, I challenge the health care system and health professionals to expand the use of these tools beyond the patient interaction to other processes where misunderstandings can have serious consequences for the patient.

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Topics: Health Literacy

Health Literacy Month: Improving Healthcare Transitions

Posted by Geri Lynn Baumblatt on Sep 30, 2015 2:30:00 PM


Welcome to the 6th Annual Health Literacy Month series, with new articles every weekday in October. This year, we asked people to consider the intersection of health literacy and healthcare transitions. As you’ll see, we’ve gone broad with looking at all different types of care transitions.

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Topics: Health Literacy

Whimsy in Science Writing

Posted by Emily Azari on Sep 23, 2015 11:00:00 AM

whimsy_Blog_graphic1200x627Scrolling through the Twitterverse some time ago, I came across the essay “On whimsy, jokes, and beauty: can scientific writing be enjoyed?” by evolutionary ecologist Stephen B. Heard. It’s a call for more color, humor, and beauty in science writing, with the aim of improving communication and connection with readers. I’ve blogged about humor in health education before, and read the piece with interest.

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Topics: Patient Communication, patient engagement, healthcare

How Human-Centered Design Can Help Make Healthcare Easier

Posted by Diana Dilger on Sep 16, 2015 3:18:19 PM

HumanCentered_Blog_graphic1200x627-01Ever downloaded an app and not had the first clue what you’re supposed to do with it? How about looking at a nutrition label and trying to figure out how many vitamins or calories are going to be in the portion size you’re actually going to eat? Heck, ever tried to do taxes? All these instances — and many, many others — could benefit from human-centered design.

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Topics: Technology, patient engagement, human-centered design

Helping People Find Their Language of Recovery

Posted by Geri Lynn Baumblatt on Aug 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Originally Published for the Association of Patient Experience
Co-author David Festenstein
 (featured left) is a communication specialist, coach and professional speaker who made a remarkable recovery from a stroke which had paralysed his right side and left him unable to walk. More about his story can be found at www.strokerecovery.co.uk. To connect with David, please email him at david@strokerecovery.co.uk or by phone +44(0)1923 663275 in the UK or on Twitter @RecoveryGuru.

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Topics: Patient Communication, patient engagement

Hut 1, Hut 2, Hut—Show Me Your Medication History

Posted by Kelly Hawthorne on Aug 19, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Medication_Blog_Graphic1200x627Clinicians have long written compelling statements on why patients should be in charge of keeping good medication histories. I wholeheartedly agree, and like to think of patients as the “captains” of their care. The thing is, we patients sometimes need help along the way—especially those with multiple chronic conditions, who may become overwhelmed from responsibility. It can be stressful trying to keeping track of medications you’ve been told to start or stop (especially when you don’t know why) and sometimes the names of the medications alone start jumbling together because they truly sound like the same thing.

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Topics: Patient Communication, patient engagement, Patient Safety, medication history

Helping Patients Prep for Appointments

Posted by Geri Lynn Baumblatt on Aug 13, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Co-Author: Peggy Zuckerman, Patient Advocate
Originally published for the Association of Patient Experience 
For both patients and providers, appointments often are not all they could be. Ill-prepared and stressed by the problem and the visit, patients may not remember all their symptoms and can forget both their medications and elements of their own medical histories. Doctors are known to interrupt, and can make a diagnosis too soon. Helping patients create a more coherent history and giving them access to any existing lab or test results before they come in can improve the in-person visit.

A new Patient ToolKit from the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine helps patients think through and capture their symptoms and history in advance. It helps them create a medication list and any treatments tried so far. When patients fill this out at home with access to their own records, it’s also likely to be more accurate. The toolkit also gives clinicians insight into patients’ concerns, how they care for themselves and view their problems.  

As part of this, if patients have their labs and can review them before the appointment, they can prepare questions, and with a bit of homework, may understand them. A second appointment to review labs might not even be needed, and may lead to an earlier diagnosis.

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Topics: Patient Communication, Technology, patient engagement

Infographic: Improving Patient and Member Experience

Posted by Emmi Solutions on Aug 5, 2015 3:33:00 PM

As a fee-for-service industry, the American healthcare system primarily favored individual physicians and hospitals. However, following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, priorities are realigning toward value and the quality of the care experience. This shift places consumers at the center of conversation, and causes healthcare organizations in both the payer and provider markets to reevaluate their attention to the consumer. The following infographic discusses the state of consumer satisfaction with their care experiences, the role of engagement in improving care experiences and the impact improved experiences can have on clinical and financial outcomes.

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Topics: patient experience

What Kim Kardashian & Healthcare Payers Have In Common

Posted by Kendall Antekeier on Aug 4, 2015 3:00:00 PM

blog_8.4Never would I ever have thought I’d write a title so strange. Yet, when a similar title published in the Chicago Tribune crossed my path, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to share with you all what healthcare payers have in common with the infamous reality star – a challenge to effectively engage an entire consumer base.

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Topics: Patient Communication, patient engagement, patient experience, healthcare, healthcare payers, webinar, member experience

Engaging the Patient

The news and opinions offered on "Engaging the Patient" are designed to inform, engage and inspire readers to take action in improving healthcare for both healthcare organizations and the populations they serve. If you have questions or would like to be a featured guest blogger, please include your contact information in the comments or contact us directly at marketing@emmisolutions.com

Some comments or opinions expressed on the blog may not reflect those of Emmi Solutions, LLC

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