Residency

Overuse of medical jargon a barrier to communication with patients

Residency Program Insider, March 17, 2017

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Since only 12% of U.S. adults are considered to be highly proficient in health literacy—the ability to find, understand, and use health information—physicians should not assume patients understand what they’re being told. Overuse of medical terminology can further inhibit patients’ ability to filter out facts critical to their decision-making process, according to an article published in the AMA Journal of Ethics.

To prevent barriers to communication with patient, the article’s authors suggest physicians use the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. Following the series of steps outlined in the toolkit can ensure patients understand relevant information in order to participate in the shared decision-making process with their physicians.

Source: AMA Journal of Ethics
 



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