Health Literacy in a Urology Practice
When I first began practicing urology, I wanted to find the best way to communicate medical information with my patients. I started by referring my patients to the Urology Care Foundation’s website.
Over time, I started thinking about ways I could create my own patient education materials. I wanted to see if I could find a way to make my materials more personal and more specific to a given patient’s needs.
Trial and Error Leads to New Digital Platforms
I started by blogging. I soon discovered, however, that I didn’t have any lasting control over the links that I was using within my posts. As a result, I started using a tool called Permamarks to permanently preserve links I thought were relevant and helpful for my patients. Permamarks turns out to also be a very useful tool for preserving patient stories.
In an effort to assist patients who couldn’t read, or had poor reading skills, I went on to create a series of patient educational videos using clear.md. I then began experimenting with other video platforms such as Vine, YouTube, and Google Plus.
Recently, I began using the DrawMD app in my office practice. Each attempt to improve my patient education materials reinforced, for me, how important it is that we also help patients learn how to read.
This is one of many reasons that I am now trying to help bring awareness to the R.E.A.D adult literacy program in Grand Haven, Michigan.
Using Twitter to Connect with Health Literacy Experts – #HCHLITSS
Over time, as I became more and more interested in health literacy, I wanted to find a group of experts who might be able to help better guide me. After a brief search, I discovered the Health Communication, Health Literacy, and Social Science Community and #HCHLITSS Twitter Chat.
Each week, using Twitter, the #HCHLITSS community interviews a person, a group, or organization with a passion for health care. During the chat, the hosts, community and guest have the opportunity to ask each other questions, and to learn from one another.
The weekly #HCHLITSS Twitter Chat takes place every Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m. EST. I am very excited to have been asked to be the featured guest on May 15th.
The Hosts of #HCHLITSS
The #HCHLITSS chat is unique in that it has three different hosts each with their own slightly different areas of interest and expertise. Kathleen Hoffman (pictured below, left) has a PhD in communications. Her work focuses on clear health communications and healthcare literacy. She has over a decade of experience in research, writing, and editing. She is also lead blogger for Medivizor.
R.V. Rikard, PhD (pictured, center) is a sociologist with a specialization in health literacy and health disparities. R.V. is also a researcher and statistician with expertise in grant writing and management. His work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.
Alisa Hughley, MPH (pictured, right) is a healthcare consultant, public speaker, patient advocate and blogger. Alisa has taught bioethics at Howard University College of Medicine. Her family’s personal story motivates her work promoting and advocating vigorously for organ donation.
Building Relationships, Generating New Ideas
I am super excited to be a guest on the chat and to learn about healthcare literacy with the #HCHLITSS community that I have grown to enjoy and respect. I am equally excited to introduce the #HCHLITSS community to members of my Michigan community and my urology community.
My hope is that by bringing these communities together, a rich and ongoing discussion will occur.
Topics for the May 15th #HCHLITSS Twitter Chat will include:
- Consequences of low health literacy.
- Sources for educational materials for patients.
- Blogging for patient education.
- Promoting health literacy in your community.
I can’t wait to see the relationships that form, and look forward to implementing many of the ideas that come out of the May 15th discussion. Please join us!