Medical care is complicated and many people struggle with understanding their medication, instructions, and follow-up plans. This 6 minute video shows just how little, patients can understand. The way you organize your practice and communicate with patients can help to minimize confusion and lead to better health outcomes. This toolkit can help you assess your practice, raise awareness and work on specific areas to ensure that your patients can succeed in the health care environment.
Download Entire Toolkit (226 pages) This link will provide you with a pdf of the entire toolkit that you can save to your computer. The toolkit links to several Internet-based resources, so an Internet connection is helpful even if you download the pdf.
Are you using the toolkit? We would love to hear about your experience!
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“Before reviewing this toolkit, we had never heard the term 'health literacy'. As we assessed our practice and reviewed the tools, we realized that the concerns addressed in this toolkit are things we see and struggle with every day. This toolkit made us more aware of the challenges that our patients face and guided us to make meaningful changes throughout our practice.”
-Office manager, rural family practice clinic
“When we introduced this toolkit to our staff they thought 'oh great, more responsibilities to cram into our busy day.' But what we quickly realized is that it is not adding more, it is learning how to do things differently. After implementing some of these tools we really felt like we were more able to connect with our parents about the health of their child.”
-MD, urban pediatric practice
Prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,
AHRQ Publication No. 10-0046-EF
Patients with chronic health conditions such as heart disease and arthritis often have complicated medical regimens and may struggle to understand self-care instructions. As a result, the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit was adapted for use in Cardiology and Rheumatology practices. In addition to providing a structure for assessing your practice and raising awareness, these two toolkits offer discipline-specific examples for implementing strategies such as teach back, medication adherence and developing and using well-designed written materials. The toolkits offer an additional tool to help coordinate care between practices, "Communicating Care with other Physicians."
These toolkits can be accessed electronically or downloaded as PDF files.