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JM2010: Contributed Paper: Readability of Patient Education Materials in Electronic Health Records

Posted on February 4, 2010 by ebrennan | 1 Comment

By April R Frost, Independent Medical Librarian and Trainer

Contributed Paper: Readability of Patient Education Materials in Electronic Health Records. Jean Roehrs, Director, Medical Library, Phoenix Indian Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ.

This paper presentation focused on the search to provide patient education materials that are readable and understandable by patients. Many patient handouts are available, but the reading level of these handouts is too high. Logistically, it is not practical for individual medical care providers/institutions to create their own handouts.

It would be time-consuming to create individual handouts for each topic, they
have to be reviewed to ensure they are accurate, as well as updating/maintaining the handouts to keep the information current.

There are many patient education tools; this study focused on 5. Readability was tested on 30 topics; the average reading level for these tools was 12th grade (from 9.7th grade – 15.5th grade). Health literacy advocates recommend 8th grade level, and many providers would prefer an even lower level, somewhere between 5th – 8th grade.

The study came down to two patient education tools: Krames and PERC. Krames was chosen as the best solution for this environment because the available handouts provided 100% coverage of the chosen topics, and the average reading level was 7.7th grade, which was the lowest of any reviewed. Many of the patient education tools are marketed as “one-stop solutions” that are directed at administration and librarians are never involved. This is an ongoing issue with health care providers and librarians.

This was a very insightful presentation which provided awareness on an important topic that frequently gets overlooked.

Posted 2/4/10

Comments

One Response to “JM2010: Contributed Paper: Readability of Patient Education Materials in Electronic Health Records”

  1. Andrea Lynch
    April 23rd, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

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