For Providers

Literacy Videos

Health Literacy And Creating A Partnership With The Patient


Another major obstacle to improved health literacy is providers’ tendency to overuse acronyms and other jargon in dealing with patients. Often, providers are so involved in their professions that they do not understand that even the most highly educated patients might not understand the very specialized language used by physicians and other providers. This reliance on jargon also finds its way into the oral and written communications of insurers, pharmacists, human-resources departments and benefits administrators. Jargon is perfectly fine – but don’t use it to communicate with your patients.

To summarize:

  • Providers need awareness of the scope of the problem of low health literacy.
  • Providers need to approach the problem with a compassionate, open mind.
  • Utilize techniques that will help you speak, write, and present clearly to patients.