Presentation on theme: "ASK ME 3 GOOD QUESTIONS FOR GOOD HEALTH. DO YOU KNOW? Which of the following is the strongest predictor of an individual’s health status? Age Income Literacy."— Presentation transcript:
DO YOU KNOW? Which of the following is the strongest predictor of an individual’s health status? Age Income Literacy skills Employment status Educational level Racial or ethnic background
Answer: Literacy skills Investigatory studies show that limited literacy skills are a stronger predictor of an individual’s health status than age, income, employment status, education level, and racial/ethnic background.
What is Health Literacy? Health literacy is the ability to read, understand and effectively use basic medical instructions and information.
People with low health literacy: Often less likely to comply with prescribed treatment and self-care regimes. Fail to seek preventive care. At more than double the risk of hospitalization. Remain in the hospital nearly two days longer than adults with high health literacy.
People with low health literacy also means: They often require additional care that results in annual health care costs four times higher than those with higher literacy skills.
Why is this important? 90 million people in the United States are estimated to have low health literacy – their health may be at risk simply because they have difficulty understanding and acting on health information provided by doctors, providers, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare-related disciplines.
Is low health literacy easy to identify? Maybe not. Individuals may be embarrassed or ashamed to admit they don’t understand. Individuals can use well- practiced coping mechanisms that effectively mask their problem.
Others who are vulnerable: Older patients Recent immigrants People with chronic disease Those with low socio- economic status
REALITY The average American reads at a 8 th -9 th grade level; however, many read at even lower levels. Health information is usually written and delivered at a level of secondary school (college) or above.
OTHER CONTRIBUTORS Extenuating stress in the patient’s family Multiple health conditions Fear, intimidation, vulnerability Shock upon hearing a diagnosis
Provider concern Myth: Encouraging patients to ask questions will increase the length of their visit. Research shows that, if allowed to speak freely, patients would speak for less than two minutes. A short-term investment of time yields a long- term payoff which includes increased compliance, less follow-up visits, and shorter, more focused interactions.
What can you do? Create a safe environment where patients feel comfortable talking openly with you. Use plain language, avoiding technical language or medical jargon. Talk at eye level with the patient. Use visual models to illustrate procedures or conditions. Ask patients to “teach back” the instructions you give them.
Encourage your patients to ask: 1.What is my main problem? 2.What do I need to do? 3.Why is it important for me to do this?
Answering these questions can help patients: Take care of their health Prepare for medical tests Take medications correctly
Other Tips for Clear Communication Encourage patients to: Bring a friend or family member to the healthcare visit. Make a list of their health concerns and bring it to the visit for discussion with the provider. Bring all the medications they are taking or a list of all medicines.
When you encourage patients to ASK 3, you help them understand what to do to get and stay healthy.
LEARN MORE Increasing health literacy can increase the effectiveness of medical treatment and improve health outcomes. Ask Me 3 is an educational program provided by the Partnership for Clear Health Communication. For research studies and provider and patient literature, visit www.AskMe3.org.