Healthcare literacy requires reading, listening, the ability to analyze effectively, and decision-making skills. Language barriers, cultural beliefs, and low literacy skills carry an increased risk of not understanding instructions properly.
Further risks to a patient include overdosing, underdosing, not filling a prescription at all, not refilling a prescription, inappropriate timing or dosing, and failure to recognize side effects. Costs can escalate when repeated visits and tests are necessary to diagnose or when the patient does not prepare for tests properly, uses the Emergency Room, needs to take time off work, and bills the insurance claim improperly.
Legal and Institutional Background (01:24)
Cambridge vs. Spence ruled that the doctor must ensure the patient understands what the doctor is saying. The AMA stated that limited literacy is a barrier to care, patients need educational materials, and the entire medical community needs be aware of health literacy problems.
Behavior Indicating Problems with Health Literacy (07:56)
Red flags include lack of clarity about medications, difficulty explaining medical problems, does not ask questions, seeking help late, expressing anger or walking out, difficulty comprehending written materials, incomplete forms, miss appointments, skipped tests, and non-compliance with medications. Educate healthcare providers, insist on a teach-back, assess cognitive levels, use simple language, and speak slowly. Encourage a patient to ask about their diagnosis, treatment, and why it is important.
Main Goals in Confronting Healthcare Literacy (03:33)
Goals include validating the understanding of healthcare information, focusing on medication, and making a patient not feel shame. Use active listening, maintain eye contact, and encourage participation.
S.O.A.P. - UP (02:50)
The acronym stands for subjective component, objective component, assessment, plan, understanding, and provider's plan. Encourage patients to perform a teach-back or Ask Me 3 to ensure understanding,
Credits: The Challenge of Healthcare Literacy (00:57)
Credits: The Challenge of Healthcare Literacy
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