What did the doctor say?

February 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 1

Many medical agencies and journals have published in recent years on the topic of health literacy and culturally appropriate patient/doctor communications. No one has put the concern more plainly than The Joint Commission did in 2007 in its publication titled, “What did the doctor say? Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety” www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/improving_health_literacy.pdf.

Patients have trouble grasping the takeaway from their appointments.

The practitioner can help both personally and within the practice setting to address this problem. One option is to offer resources for patients to have on hand when a loved one later asks, “What did the doctor say?”

The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery has both licenses and leaflets for just that purpose. Topics span the full spectrum of the specialty and are reviewed or revised regularly by its committees/quality care experts to keep the information current.

Find out more at www.entnet.org/content/patient-information.