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Archive for the ‘Health Information Literacy’ Category

The Plain Language Report Card

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The Plain Language Report Card grades US federal agencies on how well they are meeting the Plain Writing Act of 2010 The Center released its first report card a year from the date when the first requirement of the Plain Writing Act went into effect–July 2011.  This year, the Center evaluated more departments and independent agencies. They gave them two grades – one for compliance with the basic requirements of the Plain Writing Act, and one based on their analysis of how well their documents adhered to plain language principles. See the 2013 results.

Healthy Options Program

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Prevention Research Center for Rural Health - Provides a toolkit for rural restaurant owners to use to help people lead healthier lives through improving their diet when eating at restaurants. The toolkit includes tips for program implementation, brochure to give restaurant owners, press release information, logos and templates for window and table signs, and more!  Available here:

Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed a new tool for healthcare professionals. The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to promote health literacy. It helps users select from the many patient education materials available to determine those that are easier to understand and act on. Materials that score better on the PEMAT can be distributed to patients and consumers in hard copy, placed in an electronic health record system for providers to access at the point of care, or posted on patient portals. The accompanying user’s guide provides instructions on how to use the PEMAT, and a spreadsheet file automatically calculates PEMAT scores.

Evidence-based Information and Resources for the Healthy People 2020 Topic Areas

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Provides evidence-based resources on topic areas and objectives of the Healthy People 2020 agenda for improving the Nations health.

Health Literacy Online

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Health Literacy Online Guide helps you create a user-centered health information website.  The guide teaches how to create personas, conduct prototype testing and write for health behavior change.

What does the Supplement Facts panel on a dietary supplement tell me?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

IU, mcg, mg, % Daily Value? What do they all mean? The Scoop, the consumer health newsletter of The Office of Dietary Supplements, has an article explaining how to “read” Supplement Facts panels. The article has links to resources to learn more about the labeling of dietary supplements, as well as the new Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD), a joint project of the National Library of Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Read the article:

Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD):

Health Literacy Resources

Friday, October 11th, 2013

October is National Health Literacy Month. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V, defines health literacy as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.

Every day, people confront situations that involve life-changing decisions about their health. These decisions are made in places such as grocery and drug stores, workplaces, playgrounds, doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals, and around the kitchen table. Obtaining, communicating, processing, and understanding health information and services are essential steps in making appropriate health decisions; however, research indicates that today’s health information is presented in ways that are not usable by most adults. “Limited health literacy” occurs when people can’t find and use the health information and services they need.

For some resources on health literacy, visit the following links:

Full CDC Health Literacy page:

Medical Library Association–Deciphering Medspeak:

Health Literacy Month website:

Virginia Adult ESOL Health Literacy Toolkit

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The Virginia Adult ESOL Health Literacy Toolkit <> was created by a hospital social worker and ESOL educator. This toolkit can help ESOL educators and others involved in health literacy to better understand and address the health  literacy challenges encountered by adult English language learners in U.S. healthcare.

The toolkit includes:

  • Reproducible lesson plans and teaching materials on high-interest, hard-to-teach health topics
  • Easy-to-read resources on using US health care for English language learners to access directly
  • Explanations of health literacy terms, concepts, and issues as they relate to English language learners
  • Resources for understanding and explaining US health care to English language learners
  • Case studies to see the issues in action
  • Resources and tips for accessing affordable care
  • Examples and how-to’s for engaging in interdisciplinary health literacy projects
  • And more!

National Parkinson Foundation Launches Spanish and Low Health Literacy Versions of Free Hospitalization Kit

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

The National Parkinson Foundation, partnering with five Centers of Excellence, has announced a new initiative to protect, prepare and empower people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) during hospital stays, where they face greater risk. The Foundation will provide free hospitalization kits in a low health literacy version and a Spanish language version. The new kits will include: a guide to prepare the PD patient for a planned or an emergency hospital visit, a medical alert card and a medication form to fill out and share with hospital staff.

Building Health Literacy: Essential Steps and Practical Solutions

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

The Essential Hospitals Engagement Network (EHEN) presents a free Webinar: “Building Health Literacy: Essential Steps and Practical Solutions.” This event will describe the implications of low health literacy and discuss tools to improve patient education and ensure appropriate coordination across health care settings. Slides will be available after the webinar at the EHEN website. October 10, 2013, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET.