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Health Literacy and Communication for Health Professionals

University of Nebraska via Coursera

1 Review 382 students interested
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Health Care
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Finished
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 3-6 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 8 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Overview

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In the United States, two-thirds of the population read at an eighth-grade level or below. When it comes to health information, most Americans have the ability to read and write at the fifth-grade level. This inter-professional course aims to give health professionals the tools needed to improve upon their health literacy and communication skills.

This inter-professional course will help educate a variety of health professionals about health literacy efforts and improved communication skills. It will require your active participation in creating health literate interactions at various organizational levels. This course will provide the opportunity to reinforce existing opportunities to work together as a multidisciplinary team or fill a gap if you haven’t had an opportunity to do so yet!

Please copy and paste the following link into your browser to view our course overview video. http://tinyurl.com/jepeg5e

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

1. Define health literacy and how it applies to all health disciplines.

2. List the varied factors that influence health literacy and health communication.

3. Identify who is affected by health literacy and health communication.

4. Recognize the consequences of limited health literacy and poor health communication.

5. Determine the stakeholders in health literacy and health communication.

6. Recognize the role of health literacy in meeting core health service across disciplines.

7. Apply strategies to improve health literacy at the group, organizational, community, and policy levels

In addition to these course objectives, it is key to the success of the student that participants understand their responsibilities of working as a part of an inter-professional health care team. The basis of patient-centered care and the foundation of the medical home model is that health professionals will learn and implement skills to meet the community’s health needs in the context of the community’s daily lives—which is their reality! That includes recognizing the social determinants of health, such as complex social, economic, environmental, and political factors, that impact both the public’s wellness and their health literacy, too.

One initial step – an optional but recommended prerequisite to beginning this online course – is to first complete the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s self-directed online training, “Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals”. It provides a good foundation about health literacy in three brief, interactive lessons which will take about 1.5-2 hours to complete.

We are also using the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy discussion paper, “Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations” as a guide. This online course will assist its participants in understanding that health literacy needs to be an organizational value and embraced as part of the organization’s core business.

A phrase that we often like to use is “help a person connect the dots”. By this we mean we need to make sure that understanding of health information exists. An example of this would be thinking if someone is advised they need to take a medication, or told they need to change daily choices and behaviors to improve health that it will simply happen as directed. But, there are many necessary steps, strategies, and skills in communication for the advice being given to actually happen. Often, current health professionals and health care settings often assume that “one size fits all” when it comes to communicating health messages. This course will focus on some approaches to becoming a health literate health care organization by using scenarios with actors based on patient experiences, by also letting patients share their experiences in their own words, and by offering suggestions for improvement in health communication.

We hope you join us and become an agent of change both in your own discipline and as a member of an inter-professional team in health care organizations going forward!

Syllabus

Literacy: Its role in health care organizations
Welcome to the first of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has three video segments which will help you understand how multifaceted health literacy is, who it impacts, and why leadership plays a key role. You will hear from students and faculty members about their perceptions of health literacy and why it matters for all of us. This first module also includes an overview of what is covered by the (USA) Institute of Medicine’s Ten Attributes discussion paper and the (USA) National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy.

Initiation: Preparing the health care workforce
Welcome to the second of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has three video segments which will help you understand how being part of a healthcare team includes patient and family members, government, community health advocates, advertisers, and social marketers, too. We will examine some barriers within the healthcare system and how social, economic, environmental, and political factors impact health literacy, too. This second module discusses how a health literate workforce impacts patient care and community health outcomes. Evidence-based practices have been included in toolkits available for healthcare organizations to improve their workforce’s performance. You will hear from both patients and standardized patients on this matter.

They: Who we are serving?
Welcome to the third of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has three video segments which will help you understand how important it is to understand as much as we can about the intended audience of our health messages in both spoken and written formats. You will hear from patients, standardized patients, and faculty members about their perceptions of why tailoring the message to the audience is so important. This third module also includes an overview of what is covered by the enhanced (USA) National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) and other resources that are provided for you to use to improve your own health literacy and that of your healthcare organization!

Equipped: Using the Best Tools for Communication
Welcome to the fourth of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has three video segments which will help you understand what clear health communication involves in both spoken and written formats. You will hear from patients, standardized patients, and faculty members about their perceptions of why the patient/community needs to be active in their health care by asking questions to reach understanding and how health care providers must do their part as well through the use of plain language and manageable amounts of information. This fourth module also includes an overview of what is covered by “Ask me 3” which provides patients with tips for learning about their health and the “Teach Back” method for providers to check for understanding all along their encounters with community.

Results: Evaluating our efforts
Welcome to the fifth of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has two video segments which will help you understand how important it is to understand as much as we can about the intended audience so that the communication tools we select help us deliver our message in ways that our community can understand…without a “one size fits all” approach! You will hear from patients, standardized patients, and faculty members about their perceptions of why tailoring the message to the audience is so important. This fifth module also includes an overview of what is covered by Simply Put, and the Universal Precautions Toolkit to Improve Health Literacy, the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT), the Clear Communication Index, and readability formulas for you to use to improve your own health literacy and that of your healthcare organization!

Access: Providing plain health information
Welcome to the sixth of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has four video segments which will help you understand how important it is to use simple, plain language in both spoken and written formats with the public rather than medical jargon for which they are not trained nor familiar. You will hear from patients, standardized patients, and faculty members about their perceptions of why tailoring the message to the audience is so important especially for those with limited English proficiency. This sixth module also includes an overview of what is covered by the tools that help make documents easy-to-read, understand, and use as well as other resources that are provided for you to use to improve your own health literacy and that of your healthcare organization!

Transferring information: Using the best channels
Welcome to the seventh of eight modules about health literacy and communication. This module has four video segments which will help you understand how important it is to select the best methods to communicate health information with our intended audiences. Sometimes we use face-to-face interactions, but sometimes we use broadcast mass media to channel our health communication messages to larger numbers of people at the same time. This seventh module also includes an overview of things to consider when electronic health records are used in order to help you improve your own health literacy and that of your healthcare organization!

Essential skills: Communicating high risk and care transitions
Welcome to the final eighth module about health literacy and communication. This module has four video segments which will help you understand how important it is to select the best methods to communicate about the proper use of medications, number values, and health risks with our intended audiences. Disaster alerts and emergency preparedness messages need to have clear action steps for all. Sometimes we use face-to-face interactions for medication reconciliation, sometimes we must rely on other means for that to happen. This eighth module also includes an overview of tools such as infographics when numbers are used in order to help you improve your own health literacy and that of your healthcare organization!

Taught by

Denise Britigan

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