Ophthalmology Business

NOV 2012

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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continued from page 19 often called plain language. That same person can work with other staff members and patients (see next tip) to craft a final document. "It takes a team to create a readable doc- ument. This includes at least one team member who is a plain-lan- guage advocate," she said. 6. Know your audience—and get them involved. Consider your target patient population for your written documents. Have at least one patient review any new materials you are creating, Ms. Osborne recommended. That person will often give you feedback you had not considered. 7. Alert your front-desk staff to the issue of health litera- cy and literacy challenges in general, Ms. Rosales said. For instance, your front desk staff may give a new patient the form everyone fills out before seeing the physician. The patient may have trouble reading and writing but not want to admit it. Encourage your staff to ask patients if they need help filling out forms, she advised. 8. Don't assume that written materials created by other sources will be easy for patients to understand. The 2010 Survey of Ophthalmology article from Drs. Muir and Lee found that only half of the patient educational brochures available from the American Academy of Ophthalmology at that time were written at a grade level of less than nine. "For the glaucoma patient education materials we reviewed, the brochures published by governmen- tal and nonprofit organizations are more appropriate for patients with Resources Healthy Literacy Consulting www.healthliteracy.com Osborne H. Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition. 2011. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Health Literacy Innovations www.healthliteracyinnovations.com Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites (published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) www.health.gov/ healthliteracyonline Ophthalmology Business eZine is available on your iPad, desktop and other mobile devices now at digital.ophthalmologybusiness.org. Now available for iPad or your mobile device Muir KW and Lee PP. Health literacy and ophthalmic patient education. Surv Ophthalmol. 2010; 55:454-459. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC2918723/?tool= pubmed National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy (published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) www.health.gov/communication/ HLActionPlan/ greater literacy skills," they wrote. The web-based resources listed in the sidebar will help you create more patient-friendly materials or lead you to sources that have already created them. OB Contact information Muir: Kelly.muir@duke.edu Osborne: 508-653-1199, Helen@healthliteracy.com Rosales: 301-230-4966, aracely@healthliteracyinnovations.com 20 Ophthalmology Business eZine • November 2012 digital.ophthalmologybusiness.org

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