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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy’ Category

3rd Annual Health Literacy Innovator Award Contest Launched

Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation’s first interactive health literacy software tool (in English and Spanish), has announced its 3rd annual Health Literacy Innovators Award contest. The contest, a national competition to reward innovators in health literacy, seeks the nation’s best health literacy practices in print, in practice, and in the media. It is open to any company, organization or individual that can demonstrate excellence in health literacy in one of the three contest categories. Contest winners, one per category, receive three annual licenses of the Health Literacy Advisor. The application deadline is August 31st, 2012. Information on contest rules and application forms is available on the web site.

Health Literacy Innovations creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI’s flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish–Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation’s first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a “health literacy checker,” the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then make adjustments using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish, and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone.

How Effective Healthcare Communication Contributes to Health Equity

Patient talking to her healthcare providers, a screenshot from How Effective Healthcare Communication Contributes to Health EquityThe Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released a seven minute video: “How Effective Healthcare Communication Contributes to Health Equity.” This video offers a helpful introduction for all healthcare providers on how culture, language and health literacy support the elimination of disparities and promote health equity. Effective healthcare communication policies and practices, including provider health literacy, contribute to improving the quality of services for culturally and linguistically diverse populations, as well as people with limited health literacy skills.

New Discussion Paper: Attributes of a Health Literate Organization

What is a Health Literate Organization?

In January 2012, participants in a workgroup of the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy published a discussion paper titled “Attributes of a Health Literate Organization.”

This paper describes ten attributes of a health literate organization, with examples for each attribute.  Health literate organizations will make it “easier for people to navigate, understand, and use information and services to take care of their health.”

The authors underscore the importance of addressing health literacy at an organizational level, along with guidelines for various types of health care organizations. The paper concludes with a list of highly relevant resources that will be useful to anyone interested in this topic.

To see the detailed list of attributes and examples, please visit www.iom.edu/healthlit10attributes.  A PDF of the discussion paper can be downloaded here.

Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended for IHA Health Literacy Conference!

Good news! If you have been thinking about registering for the annual Health Literacy Conference sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Advancement, you still have a few days to save on your registration!  The Early Bird Savings Registration deadline has been extended to Monday, April 16th.

Also, did you know that attendees receive a set of the “What to Do for Health” books? If you are not familiar with this wonderful series, you can learn more by going to www.iha4health.org and clicking on the Books tab, or you can go directly here.

The Medical Library Association and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) recognizes that members have a role to play in health literacy and encourages you to attend this conference. This activity has been approved by the Medical Library Association (MLA); attendees can earn up to 19 contact hours.  Also, the NN/LM PSR and MLA will be hosting an exhibit table at the conference to help inform attendees how librarians can support and improve health literacy.

IHA has been very proactive in reaching out to our profession.  Librarians can save even more on their registration by taking advantage of the special discount! Use discount code MLA12 when you register, and save $50 off the regular low registration rate. Register early to get this special rate – the early bird deadline is on or before Monday, April 16 at 5pm Pacific Daylight Time. Click here to register now.  Also, see the announcement towards the end of the email for information about applying for a conference scholarship.

Additional information about what you can expect at the conference:

New, Extended Preconference Offerings!

 There are some great preconference activities lined up for you this year! Some are repeats from last year; many are FREE, and a few are brand-new offerings. As a registered attendee, here’s what you can look forward to when you come in a day early…

•     Extended, 3-Hour Preconference Learning Sessions. Take advantage of this opportunity to choose an immersive, 3-hour learning session on two very important topics: How to Write for a Low Literacy Audience, by IHA’s Gloria Mayer, or 10 Tips to Make Your Health Website Easier to Use, by Stacy Robison and Xanthi Scrimgeour. NOTE: There is an additional fee of $59 for either workshop.

•     FREE: National Action Plan Live Virtual Event. This event will bring in participants from all over the world to discuss, via social media, ways in which they have implemented the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. Discussion moderators at the session are IHA’s Michael Villaire and Gloria Mayer, and (just added!) CDC’s Cynthia Baur, Ph.D, a Lead Editor of the National Action Plan.

•     FREE: Workshop: Draft Your Own Action Plan. Attendees at the conference can stay for this workshop to walk through each step of writing your own Action Plan and implement it in your organization.

•     FREE: Health Literacy 101: An Introduction to the Field.  For those who are somewhat new to the field of health literacy, join us for this basic, introductory overview of the field, and learn what you need to know about health literacy.

Attend Four Hands-On, Interactive Breakout Sessions!

 Folks who have attended the conference tell us what really sets the IHA Health Literacy Conference apart is that you can attend four, 1.5-hour skill-building sessions. Roll up your sleeves and learn specific skills to help you function more efficiently and better understand and meet your clients’ and patients’ needs.   These sessions provide a wide selection of choices, from tools you can use and programs you can replicate to practicing new skill sets, and more. Here are the breakout session selections for 2012:

•     The Case for Collaboration: Creating and Sustaining Healthy Partnerships

•     Developing a Health Literacy Program Evaluation Plan

•     Finding the Right Resources to Meet Your Health Literacy Needs

•     Including People Who Experience Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Health Literacy Plans and Programs

•     Implementing Health Literacy in a Large Company: An Example from Pharma

•     Using the Arts to Advance Health Literacy

•     Using New Media Tools to Reach People with Health Information

•     Learning the Language of Health Literacy Grants

•     Usability Testing on a Dime: What, Why and How

•     Panel: Health Literacy Tools Developed by Health Plans

Best Buy for Your Education Dollars

 These days, we all need to look at where we can best spend our money. This is particularly true for nonprofit organizations. However, when you consider that only slightly more than 1 in 10 American adults are considered proficient in the health literacy skills they need to effectively navigate and use our healthcare system, you can see that the Health Literacy Conference is an excellent buy. If you make even a small number of incremental changes in how you and your staff interact and communicate with your patients and clients, the results could more than pay for your small investment.

We have kept our tuition rates at the same low rate every year. See our rates grid and show it to whoever approves your education programming to see how little you will pay to attend this important conference. And remember, your registration fee includes:

•     Continuing Education credits (up to 19 hours)

•     Breakfast on Thursday and Friday

•     Lunch on Thursday and Friday

•     Opening Night Reception–cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

•     FREE Wednesday nationwide virtual event AND workshop on the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, to help you create an action plan for your organization

•     FREE Preconference Session on Wednesday evening: “Health Literacy 101: An Introduction to the Field”

•     Complimentary tote bag with info and free set of IHA books

•     Poster session on Thursday evening

•     Multiple networking opportunities

 Conference Scholarships Offered Courtesy of Health Literacy Innovations

Want to attend the conference but you are short on funds? This year the sponsor Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creators of the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish-Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) will provide seven scholarships to the conference. If you are interested in applying, please visit http://www.healthliteracyinnovations.com/IHA.

 Conference Hotel–Hyatt Regency Irvine

 The Eleventh Annual IHA Health Literacy Conference will be held once again at the Hyatt Regency Irvine, close to John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA) with complimentary airport shuttle, and just minutes from world-class shopping at South Coast Plaza. Easy access to the beach and freeway, close to Disneyland Park, California Adventure, the Downtown Disney District, Knott’s Berry Farm, The Outlets at Orange, Crystal Cathedral, and Anaheim Stadium.

There are a limited number of rooms at a special rate of $125 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Be sure to mention that you are attending the IHA Health Literacy Conference to get this special rate.  Book your room early, as the block of rooms at this special rate is limited. When these rooms are gone, prevailing rates apply on an as-available basis. Deadline for reserving rooms at this rate is April 23, 2012 OR until rooms in this block are sold out, whichever comes first. Rates are good for two days before and two days after the conference.

IHA welcomes your calls.  For any questions, don’t hesitate to call Michael Villaire at (800) 434-4633, ext. 202, or email mvillaire@iha4health.org.

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

PubMed Health is a service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care. With the August and September 2011 releases, the PubMed Health homepage was redesigned and the number of items based on systematic reviews increased significantly.

PubMed Health is based on systematic reviews of clinical trials. These clinical effectiveness reviews can show what treatments and prevention methods have been proven to work, and what remains unknown. PubMed Health provides summaries and full texts of selected systematic reviews in one searchable resource. The reviews are generally published or updated from 2003. There is also information for consumers and clinicians based on those reviews. A search on PubMed Health runs simultaneously in PubMed’s “Clinical Queries” Systematic Reviews, using a filter to identify all the indexed scientific articles at the NLM that might be systematic reviews. This search includes articles prior to 2003.

Information partners selected by PubMed Health to contribute their clinical effectiveness information are:

  • Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (US) (AHRQ)
  • The Cochrane Collaboration (CC)
  • German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG)
  • National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme (NIHR HTA)
  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines program (NICE)
  • Oregon Health and Science University’s Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program from the Veterans Health Administration R&D (VA ESP)

Other key sections of PubMed Health include England’s Behind the Headlines service from the National Health Service (NHS Choices), medical encyclopedia from A.D.A.M. Education, and medication information from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists.

To learn more about PubMed Health, including details about content and organization of the web site, please read the NLM Technical Bulletin or visit PubMed Health at http://www.pubmed.gov/health/.

Think Cultural Health for Culturally Competent Care

Think Cultural Health (TCH), a new site sponsored by the Office of Minority Health, offers the latest resources and tools to promote cultural and linguistic competency in health care. It provides free and accredited continuing education programs for physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

The goal of Think Cultural Health is to Advance Health Equity at Every Point of Contact through the development and promotion of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. With growing concerns about health inequities and the need for health care systems to reach increasingly diverse patient populations, cultural competence has become more and more a matter of national concern. Providers can take the first step to improve the quality of health care services given to diverse populations. By learning to be more aware of their own cultural beliefs and more responsive to those of their patients, providers can think in ways they might not have before. That can lead to self-awareness and, over time, changed beliefs and attitudes that will translate into better health care.

AHRQ, Ad Council Launch Conozca las preguntas Campaign

Conozca las preguntas, (Know the Questions) a new, multimedia Spanish-language campaign was announced by the Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Ad Council, encourages Hispanics to get more involved in their health care and to talk with their doctors about their medical concerns. The national public service advertising campaign, which features television, radio, print and Web ads, offers tips to help Hispanics prepare for medical appointments by thinking ahead of time about questions to ask their doctors during medical appointments. The PSAs direct audiences to visit AHRQ’s Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/preguntas/ where they can find tips and other important health information in Spanish.

AHRQ research shows that Hispanics tend to seek medical treatment advice from friends, co-workers and even casual acquaintances rather than going to the doctor unless they are very sick. Some Hispanics report avoiding asking doctors questions out of respect or because they feel intimidated or embarrassed. AHRQ data show that 47 percent of adult Hispanics reported not having seen a doctor in 2008, compared with 29 percent of adult non-Hispanics. This included 37 percent of insured Hispanics ages 18 to 64, compared with 29 percent of insured non-Hispanics, as well as 15 percent of older Hispanics versus 10 percent of non-Hispanic seniors.

AHRQ and the Ad Council also will be implementing a mobile marketing program to further engage the Hispanic community in the campaign messages. A mobile version (WAP) of the website will be developed and users will have the opportunity to opt in to receive biweekly text message alerts for tips on talking with health care providers, getting prescriptions and medical tests, and the benefits of getting more involved in their health care. Mobile users can text 80676/Preguntas to opt in to the program. For more information about the Conozca las preguntas Campaign, please visit the AHRQ press release and the Conozca las preguntas website.

National Health Literacy Innovator Award Contest

Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation’s first interactive health literacy software, introduces the 2nd Annual Health Literacy Innovator Award contest, a national competition to award innovators in health literacy. The contest is open to any person or organization that produces health information for consumers. HLI’s panel of health literacy experts will evaluate submissions for three individual categories:

  • Champion Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy within an organization.
  • ReadsEasy Publication Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in printed information for consumers, such as brochures, pamphlets, and information sheets.
  • Clear Focus Multimedia Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in a website or other form of communication, based on usability, design, and reaching a targeted audience.

Deadline is August 31, 2011. To apply, visit http://healthliteracyinnovations.com/award/

CDC Launches Health Literacy Website

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new health literacy website at http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/. Healthy People 2020 defines health literacy as “the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions”.

The CDC health literacy website provides information and tools to improve health literacy and public health. These resources are for all organizations that interact and communicate with people about health, including public health departments, healthcare providers and facilities, health plans, government agencies, non-profit/community and advocacy organizations, childcare and schools, the media, and health-related industries.

The website also contains a Health Literacy Activities by State portal. For the Pacific Southwest Region, local resources currently include Arizona Health Literacy Coalition, Health Literacy Arizona, Institute for Healthcare Advancement, and Health Research For Action, UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Editor’s Note: The Health Literacy Arizona website was funded in part through a NN/LM PSR Express Outreach Award in 2009-2010.