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Patient Education    Health on the Internet    Health Literacy    Quality Improvement    Staff Development



Patient Education

Helping Patients Manage Their Chronic Conditions. California HealthCare Foundation, 2005.


Improving Communication With Older Patients:  tips from the literature/ Thomas E. Robinson, George L. White, John C. Houchins.  Family Practice Management (Sept. 2006): 73-78.


Building Peer Support Programs to Manage Chronic Disease:  seven models for success. California HealthCare Foundation, 2006.


Patient Self-Management Tools: an overview. California HealthCare Foundation, 2005.


Using Telephone Support to Manage Chronic Disease. California HealthCare Foundation, 2005.


Patient-Clinician Communication: basic principles and expectations/ Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC:  The National Academies Press, 2011.


Talking with Your Doctor
Communication between doctor and patient is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. The tips in this chapter will make it easier for patients and their doctors to cover everything they need to talk about.


Improving Patient-Provider Communication: Joint Commission Standards and Federal Law
Free video on how to meet new communication standards, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and CLAS standards. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: The Joint Commission, 2010.


Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective
Health literacy resource for writing materials with plain language techniques.


Program for Readability In Science & Medicine (PRISM)
Free one-hour online tutorial geared toward writing plain language consent forms. Group Health, 2010.


Training Nurses to Be Teachers by J.A. Burkhart. J Contin Educ Nurs. 39.11 (2008): 503-10. The article explores existing patient education skills at one community hospital and evaluates the effectiveness of improvements when new teaching techniques are applied.


Teaching nurses how to teach: An evaluation of a workshop on patient education by G. Lamiani, A. Furey.  Patient Educ Couns 75.2 (2008): 270-273.
The article assesses the value of a staff education workshop designed to teach nurses how to improve their patient education skills and techniques.


Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for HospitalContains idea to help your organization meet the new Joint Commission communication standards coming in 2011. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: The Joint Commission, 2010.


Nancy Forsberg
Forsberg, N. (2010) Family Friendly Space for Research, Reflection and Respite: a Family Resource Center and Library in a Pediatric Hospital Setting. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 10: 1, 82-87.


Penny Overgaard - Patient and staff education publications:

    Overgaard, P. (2010). Get the keys to successful project management. Nursing Management 41(6): 53-54.

    Overgaard, P. (2010) Patient education in five easy pieces. Nursing Critical Care 5(3):48

    Overgaard, P. (2010) 7 steps to highly effective staff meetings. Nursing Management. 41(3):54.

    Overgaard, P. (2009) Patient teaching in five easy steps. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! 7(3) 56.
    Rosen, J., Hazle, L., Overgaard,P., Chin, M. (2009) Airway Clearance Revisted. Advance for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine. May 2009

    Overgaard, P. , Meliska, K, , Woodward, J. (2009) Transitioning New Tracheostomies: Use these training strategies to help parents care for children at home. Advance for Managers of Respiratory Care. 18 (1) 16-18


Diseases A-Z -
This organization's mission is to provide clear and concise health education in American Sign Language to promote the overall wellness of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing community.


No Time To Teach: The Essence of Patient and Family Education. Fran London. Atlanta: Pritchett & Hull. 2009. Fran redefines patient and family education and provides research-based essentials needed to make an impact on the quality of care and a patient's quality of life in this condensed, power-packed patient education how-to book.


Educating Patients Before They Leave the Hospital Reduces Readmissions, Emergency Department Visits and Saves Money. February 2, 2009.  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
This short article speaks to the value of patient and family education and is based on a randomized controlled study at Boston University Medical Center's Department of Family Medicine.


Patient education program slashes ED readmissions [No authors listed]
The program has several key elements that contributed to its success, including: Customized booklets for each patient, with information specific to their disease or injury, their medications, and follow-up appointments. Charts in which patients can track important data, such as their blood sugar levels. Contact by a pharmacist two to four days after discharge to reinforce the key education messages.


Filling gaps in knowledge:  educating nurses to provide appropriate patient materials, by Cannon S, Boswell C., Contin Educ Nurs. 2009 Apr;40(4):148-9.
Assessing and addressing health literacy is a key issue in providing quality patient education contributes to better and safer patient care.


Health on the Internet

Healthcare 411/Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
Audio podcast series produced by AHRQ to improve the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care for all Americans by giving them information they can use in their health care decision making. News and information are shared in 60-second audio news programs that feature current research on important health care topics.


Finding good information on the internet/ Kevin McCluney.  Scientific American, Guest Blog, 16 July 2011.
This article points out a real problem our society faces in the digital information age: anyone can put anything on the internet.  If we believe everything we find on the internet, we are likely to wind up making some very poor decisions.  A few tricks that anyone can use to find and select high-quality information from the internet are discussed.


MedlinePlus Connect: Linking Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to MedlinePlus Health Information
MedlinePlus Connect is a free service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This service allows any electronic health record (EHR) system to easily link users to MedlinePlus, an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families and health care providers. MedlinePlus provides information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness.


The Social Life of Health Information/ Susannah Fox, Sydney Jones.  Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2009.
This Pew Internet/California HealthCare Foundation survey finds that technology is not an end, but a means to accelerate the pace of discovery, widen social networks, and sharpen the questions someone might ask when they do get to talk to a health professional. Technology can help to enable the human connection in health care and the internet is turning up the information network's volume.


PatientInform - patientINFORM is a program that brings together the publishers of the world's leading medical journals and the U.S.'s most trusted health organizations to provide patients and their caregivers with access to some of the most up-to-date, reliable and important research available about the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases.


MedlinePlus Connect - A free service that allows electronic health records (EHR) systems to link users to MedlinePlus (, an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families and health care providers. MedlinePlus provides information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness.


Finding Clinical Trial Results - National Library of Medicine Resources


Patients' reasons for refraining from discussing internet health information with their healthcare providers by Imes RS, Bylund CL, Sabee CM, Routsong TR, Sanford AA, Department of Communication, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI 53186, USA.
This exploratory study examined factors that constrain patients from discussing Internet health information with their healthcare providers. Provider and patient education can help to overcome barriers that restrict communication concerning Internet health research.


National Institute of Health. Helping Older Adults Search for Healthcare Information Online: A Toolkit for Trainers  November 2007
The Toolkit is a valuable asset for anyone in healthcare who uses the web or who teaches others to use the web for medical information. Although it is written with seniors in mind, it is a useful guide for anyone.


Health Literacy

Improving Health Literacy Within a State: Workshop Summary/ Institute of Medicine.  Washington, D.C., National Academies Press, 2011.


Promoting Health Literacy to Encourage Prevention and Wellness: a workshop summary/ Institute of Medicine.  Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011.


A practical guide to informed consent/ developed with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


The AHRQ Informed Consent  and  Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk Research.  Rockville, MD, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2009.  AHRQ Pub. No. 09-0089-EF


Health Literacy and America's Health Insurance Plans:  laying the foundation and beyond. Summaries of the Health Literacy Activities in 27 AHIP Member Companies.  Washington, AHIP, 2001


Plain Language
These are resources, tools and training opportunities to create effective written materials and spoken messages using plain language that is clear, simple, and easy to understand. It is one piece of the complex web that makes up health literacy.


Presenting research risks and benefits to parents:  does format matter?/ Alan R. Tait [et al]. Anesth Analg. 2010; 111(3):718-23.   PMID: 20686011.
Many parents and patients have difficulty in assimilating and interpreting risk/benefit information for both research and treatment. The results of this study suggest a simple and practical method for enhancing understanding of risk/benefit statistics for parents with varying numeracy and literacy skills.


Plain Language: a Handbook for Writers in the U.S. Federal Government
Richard Lauchman. Lauchman Group, c2002


The Health Literacy Style Manual prepared for covering kids and families
CKF National Program Office, Southern Institute on Children and Families, 2005


National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care
National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, Inc., c2005


Health Literacy, eHealth, and Communication: Putting the Consumer First: Workshop Summary
Lyla M. Hernandez.  Institute of Medicine, 2009 [Download free PDF]


National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy: Summary
U.S Department of Health and Human Sciences, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2010


National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy: Report
U.S Department of Health and Human Sciences, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2010


Health Literacy Online: a guide to writing and designing easy-to-use health Web sites
U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2010


Assessing and Addressing Health Literacy by Sandy Cornett. "Assessing and Addressing Health Literacy." OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 2009 Sept;14(3), Manuscript 2.
Provides evidence-based research and tips about how to assess for low health literacy and how to communicate with and teach patients who struggle with this often times hidden disability.


Understanding Cultural and Linguistic Barriers to Health Literacy by Kate Singleton, Elizabeth M. S. Krause.   OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.  2009 Sept.;14(3), Manuscript 4.
The purpose of this conceptual article is twofold. The first aim is to help nurses appreciate how culture and language can affect patient health literacy. The second aim is to demonstrate the need for nursing interventions that fully integrate health literacy, language, and culture.


AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit
Posted April 2010. The toolkit is based on the principles of universal precautions, or specific actions that providers can take to make health information more understandable for all patients. It is designed to be used by all levels of staff in practices providing primary care for adults and/or pediatric patients.


Ohio State University AHEC Health Literacy Program
The Ohio State University AHEC Health Literacy Program offers a comprehensive online professional development and continuing education program in the field of health literacy.  There are a total of 9 modules to choose from and each module costs $15.00 to complete.


Training Course: Health Literacy for the Public Health Professionals
Free "Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals Online Training" program. The purpose of this training is to educate public health professionals about limited health literacy and their role in addressing it in a public health context.


Using Principles of Health Literacy to Enhance the Informed Consent Process (PDF)
The language commonly used in consent documents often exceeds the average person's reading level in the U.S. Because of this, many patients do not stop to read their consent form before signing it.  By incorporating reader-friendly principles into consent documents, it is more likely that patients will read it, understand it, and actually provide their informed consent.


Communication Techniques for Patients with Low Health Literacy: A Survey of Physicians, Nurses and Pharmacists (PDF)
Health care providers can improve communications with patients with low health literacy by following certain techniques such as slowing down, using drawings, common language and teach-back techniques and creating a shame-free environment. This article explores the use of these techniques and what HCPs can do to improve patient understanding and care outcomes.


Joint Commission white papers on culture, language family-centered care and literacy
These white papers provide an overview of what health care providers need to know in order to address needs related to culturally and linguistically diverse patient populations, effective communication, cultural competence, and patient-centered care.


America's health literacy: why we need accessible health information.  An issue brief from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008.


Improving health literacy for older adults.  Rep. US Department of Health and Social Sciences, 2009.


Federal Plain Language Guidelines:  improving communication from the Federal government to the public, 2009.


Plain language principles and thesaurus for making HIPAA privacy notices more readable;  prepared for the Health Resources and Services Administration, in consultation with the Office for Civil Rights, and other offices and agencies within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, D.C., and plain language specialists.


The health literacy and plain language resource guide;  created by Health Literacy Innovations, and supported by the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, 2008.


Hospitals, language, and culture:  a snapshot of the nation:  exploring cultural and linguistic services in the nation's hospitals; a report of findings/ Amy Wilson-Stronks and Erica Galvez, 2010.


About the CAHPS® Item Set for Addressing Health Literacy. CAHPS® Clinician & Group Survey and Reporting Kit, 2008.


Pfizer principles for clear health communication:  a handbook for creating materials that enhance understanding, promote health outcomes.  Pfizer Inc., 2004.


Is our pharmacy meeting our patients' needs?  A pharmacy health literacy assessment tool user's guide.  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007.


Quality Improvement

Free Online Multicultural Health Care Improvement Guide.
The guide, developed by NCQA in collaboration with Lilly USA, LLC, serves as a resource for those wanting to undertake quality improvement initiatives to improve culturally and linguistically appropriate services and to reduce disparities in care.


Health care leader action guide to reduce avoidable readmissions.  Health Research and Educational Trust, 2010.


The AHRQ informed consent and authorization toolkit for minimal risk research. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2009.


Staff  Development

Grey's Anatomy introduction to patient simulators: meet iStan - istan introduction as seen on Grey's Anatomy

Trauma scenario using patient simulators - Human Patient Simulator in Action

Presenting research risks and benefits to parents:  does format matter?/ Alan R. Tait [et al]. Anesth Analg. 2010; 111(3):718-23.   PMID: 20686011.
Many parents and patients have difficulty in assimilating and interpreting risk/benefit information for both research and treatment. The results of this study suggest a simple and practical method for enhancing understanding of risk/benefit statistics for parents with varying numeracy and literacy skills.


Susan Boyer - Competency, coaching and preceptor publications:

    Lenburg, C., Klein, C., Abdur-Rahman, V., Spencer, T., Boyer, S. (2009) The COPA Model: A Comprehensive Framework Designed To Promote Quality Care and Competence for Patient Safety. Nursing Education Perspectives: Vol. 30, No. 5, pp. 312-317.

    Boyer, S.; Editor. (2009) Mosby's Preceptor Course, a collaborative effort of the National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO) and Elsevier/MC Strategies.

    Boyer, S. (2008). Core Curriculuum for Clinical Coaching. Queen City Printers, Burlington, VT: VT Nurses In Partnership, Inc. ISBN 978-0-9820157-0-4.

    Boyer, S. (2008) Competence and Innovation in Preceptor Development - Updating our Programs. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, Vol 24, No. 2, E1-E6.


Lions and Tigers and Nurses by Amy Glenn Vega. Atlanta: Pritchett & Hull. 2009.
A nursing novella that deals with the lateral violence in healthcare. This thoroughly entertaining book takes readers through a series of learning opportunities using creative story telling with drama, romance, conflict - and a happy ending! 3 CEs available upon completion.


Broken Heart by Amy Glenn Vega. Atlanta: Pritchett & Hull. 2009.
Amy's second nursing novella deals with coping with change and loss. Through the eyes and heart of the book's fictional heroine, Med-Surg South nurse Imelda Tagaro, nurses learn life lessons to apply in their own professional practice. 3.5 CEs available upon completion.


Point, click & wow! The techniques and habits of successful presenters by Claudyne Wilder.   San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 2008.
In Point, Click & Wow!, the insider knowledge of public speaking that we all need but were never taught is given. This book offers myriad new features and updated slide designs as well as illustrative stories and advice from executives.


How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 by Ellen Finkelstein.  McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2006.
Create dynamic and professional-quality presentations using sage advice, handy tips, and clear descriptions from PowerPoint expert Ellen Finkelstein. This book gives you that extra edge with best-practice design, layout, and organizational techniques that will make your presentations leap off the screen.


Guidelines for the Practice of Diabetes (Word .doc 28K)


Do you have an educational resource that you would like to share with other HCEA members? Contact Becky Squires at

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