Thursday, May 1, 2008

Health Literacy

I just returned from a conference in New York City sponsored by AIG and the National Patient Safety Foundation. The topic was on health literacy. This topic of health literacy is is near and dear to my heart so I was thrilled to be able to attend. As someone who spends time with people who work in healthcare it is not uncommon to wonder what the discussion is going on when the "jargon" being used is often in terms I can't follow and don't understand. Never being one too proud to say "what are you talking about" I found it refreshing to learn that health literacy has moved away from the written word and has moved towards communication skills too.

For many, it's not about not being able to read, but it's about not being able to understand what is being said. This happens every day, in every profession. It only makes sense that literacy focuses on the whole manner of communication.

The program was wonderful and left the attendees the tools to make comprehension work for the patient. It wasn't just a lecture but the tools were described to be used.

Most of this addresses the doctor patient relationship but in this case, as in many of these conferences, there wasn't a single doctor in the audience. Hopefully they are getting this education elsewhere...............or are they?

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