Teaching Safety

A number of healthcare organizations have initiated consumer health literacy programs to improve outcomes and prevent adverse events. These campaigns are intended to raise patient awareness of risk, suggest helpful safety tips and develop expectations of quality care. You might find it useful to familiarize yourself with the specific terminology and concepts your patients may be exposed to.

While these programs are well intentioned, there is little evidence that printed pamphlets and internet resources alone improve patient safety. The fact that 90 million adults in America have poor literacy indicates that printed media would be ineffective for many.

Effective patient safety programs require significant commitment of time, personnel and resources.The following are two examples of patient safety efforts that are making a difference.

The American Medical Association offers "Six steps to improve interpersonal communication with patients".

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