As with any situation; with the good comes the bad and poor communication in outcomes. A Proposed Health Literate Care Model Would Constitute a Systems Approach to Improving Patients Engagement in Care. “But the core skill of good communication is listening” (Handzo 2012). The current standard is presently called the “Expanded Care Model.” The core philosophies of the Expanded Care Model include: 1) patient self-management support, 2) healthcare delivery systems, 3) healthcare decision support and 4) clinical information delivery. The True Importance of Communication in Healthcare: The Profound Impact on Patients A trip to the hospital is distressing for patients and their families. Patients with poor health literacy may not only have problems with reading. What effective communication does is build a comfortable environment for the patient to able to express his problem to the medical practitioner. In healthcare, communication plays a major role. A 2008 study using Pfizer’s health literacy tool, called the “Newest Vital Sign,” concluded that minimal time was needed to implement the screening.5 The greatest proportion of time needed during day-to-day processes was related to scoring and data entry. If someone lacks adequate knowledge of driving safety and defensive driving, it increases the likelihood that they meet with a potentially fatal car accident. The design of all patient care services should be patient-centered, timely, efficient, evidence-based, safe, and coordinated. Good communication helps patients/clients feel at ease It’s common for people who need health care services to feel anxious about their health, about what tests and treatment they might have to … The Importance of Effective Communication in Healthcare. There is no clear consensus with regards to the level of difficulty information patient populations are able to comprehend. When conveying information to patients, it is important to address: 1) what is wrong, 2) what the patient needs to do and why, 3) how they do it, 4) what to expect (both pros and cons) and 5) alternatives (including no treatment). In short, healthcare systems should implement health literacy assessments that best suit the needs of their practice and are proven to be effective. Information Communication Technology in HealthCare . All staff that comes into contact with patients has a role to play in the delivery of their healthcare. For example, the role of a physician is very different from the role of an occupational therapist. They are also more likely to be less satisfied with the care they receive and believe that they would have gotten better care if they belonged to a different race.12 Ethnic minorities of low socioeconomic status and elderly demographics tend to have more passive interactions with physicians and are not given the opportunity for shared decision-making in their healthcare. Research evidence indicates that there are strong positive relationships between a healthcare team member’s communication skills and a patient’s capacity to follow through with medical recommendations, self-manage a chronic medical condition, and adopt preventive health behaviors. Current assessment tools readily used to assess health literacy include the Wide Range Achievement Test, Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine and the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. The general rule-of-thumb to improve readability of patient materials includes: 1) focusing material on a single message, 2) using a plain language standard and avoiding medical jargon, 3) using a conversational style as if talking to someone verbally, 4) using analogies that are culturally appropriate to your target patient population, 5) limiting the amount of details included in the material to only essential information, 6) placing relevant images that are culturally appropriate next to the corresponding text and 7) placing appropriate captions that highlight areas of interest next to the corresponding pictures.11. However, it only focuses on nutritional matters and fails to comprehensively address all aspects of health literacy. For this reason, it is important for all staff to buy into health literacy improvement processes. The study purported that reading fluency is a stronger predictor for adequate health literacy since grade level attainment did not account for lifelong learning or age-related declines in comprehension.10, In addition, patients are more likely to successfully interpret single-step directions over multi-step directions. If either the patient or health care provider lacks clear understanding of the information conveyed, the delivery of care is compromised. You’ll be supporting registered staff to prepare and update patient records (see the next part of this section on Record-keeping). Complex assessments may be time-intensive and impractical to implement within busy practice settings. For this reason, they may be less likely to disclose their lack of comprehension during healthcare encounters. Every step of the way, from patient intake to patient discharge and beyond, nurses must communicate well to provide comprehensive care. 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