Low Health Literacy Puts Patients At Greater Risk For Medical Er

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The Joint Commission Issues Call to Action to Improve When you are sick, following doctors’ orders are e...
The Joint Commission Issues Call to Action to Improve When you are sick, following doctors’ orders are essential to recovery. But what happens if you really don’t understand the instructions your doctor gives you? Many Americans have low health literacy, or difficulty understanding medical speak, a problem affecting more than one-third of patients in the U.S. health care system. Those with literacy issues come from all walks of life; however, educational level, nativity, socio-economic status and elderly age are all associated with lower levels of health literacy Cultural, language and communication barriers often lead to misunderstandings between patients and their caregivers, which may cause harm to these patients. To help narrow the communications gap, The Joint Commission — a national leader for patient safety and health care quality — has just issued a call to action to: Make effective communication a priority Address patients’ communication needs across the spectrum of care Change public policy to promote improved communication For more information, please visit: www.jointcommission****
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