October is health literacy month by Heart and Diabetes Coalition
One important step to becoming a healthier Alaska is to make health information easier to understand and accessible to the people who need it. Learning to communicate together is an important step to achieving wellness. Both patients and healthcare providers play an important role in communication.
For Patients Ask Me 3® is one example of a great tool to help you work with your provider. The tool provides three simple but important questions you should ask your provider every time you see them, - What is my main problem? - What do I need to do? - Why is it important for me to do this?
For Providers The Institute for Healthcare Improvement also has suggestions on what someone providing care can do to make the conversation with their patient easy and simple. When talking with a patient, follow these guidelines: - Slow down - Limit, but repeat, information at every visit - Avoid medical jargon - Use illustrations to explain important concepts - Use easy-to-read materials available in a variety of languages. - Make visits interactive - Use “teach-back” to gauge comprehension.
Health literacy can help us prevent health problems and protect our health, as well as better manage those problems and unexpected situations that happen. Communicating together is key! This simple tool can help improve the communication between providers and patients and create a greater health for all. Learn more about Alaska Health Resources:
- Alaska Virtual Health Fair is a “one stop shop” with credible resources, articles, and links to events regarding your health https://www.akvirtualhealthfair.org/ - The Alaska Tobacco Quitline has resources and services available in a variety of languages. Stopping tobacco is one major step to better health. Email the Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (email@example.com) for copies or visit the ATQL website: www.alaskaquitline.com - The Anchorage Peer Leader Navigator program has health navigators specially trained in helping work with communities to equally access wellness services.