Consumers, the health system and health literacy: Taking action to improve safety and quality. Consultation Paper – 2013 [Aus]
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality prepared this consultation paper (59 pages) to prompt debate and discussion about health literacy and how organisations within the sector may be able to act to address health literacy. This paper outlines the landscape and context for health literacy in Australia in 2013 and proposes some key components of a nationally coordinated and consistent approach to health literacy. Topics include: what is health literacy, why is health literacy important, addressing health literacy in a coordinated way, embedded health literacy into systems, effective health information and interpersonal communication, integrating health literacy into education, who has a role in addressing health literacy in Australia?
The Safe Use Initiative and Health Literacy: Workshop Summary (2010)
Every year at least 1.5 million people suffer adverse effects from medication. These problems occur because people misunderstand labels, are unaware of drug interactions, or otherwise use medication improperly. The Food and Drug Administration's Safe Use Initiative seeks to identify preventable medication risks and develop solutions to them. The IOM held a workshop to discuss the FDA's Safe Use Initiative and other efforts to improve drug labeling and safety. This document summarises the discussion from this workshop.
Stardardizing Medication Labels: Confusing Patients Less. Workshop Summary – 2008 [US]
Medications are an important component of health care, but each year their misuse results in over one million adverse drug events that lead to emergency room visits, hospitalizations and, in some cases, death. Almost half of all patients misunderstand label instructions. As a patient's most tangible source of information on prescription drug use, the label on a medication container is a crucial line of defense against such medication safety problems. This report, by Lyla M. Hernandez from the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, summarises a workshop aimed at examining what is known about how medication container labeling affects patient safety and discusses approaches to addressing identified problems.
Improving prescription drug container labeling in the United States. A health literacy and medication safety initiative – 2010 [US]
This report reviews in detail the problem of prescription drug container labels in the United States. The best practices in drug container labelling are summarised. Recommendations are offered to guide medical and pharmacy practice, and related state and federal policy. The overall objective of this paper is to move forward a set of evidence-based drug label standards that will minimise patent confusion and promote patient awareness of how to use a prescribed medicine safely and effectively.
Integrating Health Literacy with Health Care Performance Measurement [US]
In this discussion paper from the Institute of Medicine, Darren DeWalt (family physician, health literacy expert and main author of the Universal Precautions Toolkit) and Jonathan McNeill describe the opportunities for health care providers to link health literacy to quality measures and integrate health literacy performance measurement into every aspect of the patient experience. DeWalt and McNeill (2013) define a systems view of the U.S. health care system to explore the potential scope of measures and review existing and example measures that could be considered “health literacy–related.” The characteristics of effective health literacy–related performance measures are examined and important considerations that will inform the measure development process are discussed.
Prescription painkillers and controlled substances: an appraisal of drug information provided by six US pharmacies [US]
Health literacy impacts health outcomes. Health literacy can be enhanced by improving the readability of health literature. Misuse and abuse of prescription medicines and controlled substances is rising. In this paper, Gill (2013), argues that improving the readability of the drug-information documents associated with these medicines could serve to alleviate this situation. Gill (2013) assess the 71 drug information documents from six US pharmacies and recommendations were made for improving readability. Gill (2013) concluded that good drug-information documents should have: (1) clear purpose, (2) limited scope, (3) summary/brief review, (4) well-placed graphics, (5) informative illustrations, (6) clean layout and lucid formatting relevant to the media, and (7) focus on the intended users.
How To Create a Pill Card
Use this guide from the AHRQ to find out how you can create an easy-to-use "pill card" for your patients, parents, or anyone you know who has a hard time keeping track of their medicines.
The Role of Health Literacy in Patient Safety
This article by Wolf and Bailey (2009) summarises ways in which patients can be help in understanding and acting upon their health issues. It includes information on improving patient-provider communication, enhancing health materials, and, building a safe, patient-centered health practice.
Factors Affecting Level of Compliance in Chronic Patients
This article by Theofilou (2011) addresses the factors pertaining to medication compliance in people with long-term conditions and chronic diseases. "Compliance" is not a common term in New Zealand when it comes to talking about medication, how ever the term is the same as what is locally known as "adherence".
Communicating Risks and Benefits: An evidence-Based User’s Guide
Risk communication is the term used for situations when people need good information to make sound choices. This could involve recalls, confusing medication instructions, and in the worst case scenario, information in a disaster situation such as the Canterbury earthquake. Risk is a critical aspect of health literacy. This comprehensive report from the US FDA covers not only health literacy but also quantitative and qualitative information and how health professionals communicate risk benefit information. 235 pages.