Healthcare Experts: Patient Literacy, Communication Key to Prevention

Healthcare experts at the second annual Missouri Health Literacy Summit agreed patient literacy and physician-patient communication are critical in achieving positive outcomes and population health, according to a Columbia Daily Tribune report.

Patient-centered healthcare, a cornerstone of the new healthcare reform law, means physicians and other healthcare providers must provide more "user-friendly" care. Medical jargon may confuse and overwhelm patients, causing them to misunderstand prevention and treatment instructions and experience adverse outcomes.


The teach back method, where physicians ask patients to re-call or repeat the instructions they were just told, is one strategy to ensure patients understand how to keep themselves healthy.

Related Articles on Patient Literacy:

Parents' English Proficiency Linked to Length of Hospital Stay for Pediatric Patients
Joint Commission Proposes New Accreditation Requirements to Improve Communication

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