Objectives: Our institution’s Patient/Family Education Subcommittee is tasked with revising and updating written material directed at patients and family members. A member of this subcommittee, a librarian, is participating in the editing process of patient education material by applying plain language and easy-to-read principles while increasing readability to improve health literacy of patients and family members.
Methods: The subcommittee receives internal requests for revisions and updates of patient education material from staff, departments, and specialty areas within our institution. The subcommittee revises terminology, repairs grammatical errors, and updates changes in contact information or room locations. To meet the objective of this project, the librarian selects and edits documents that appear to contain sophisticated language, medical jargon, or complex sentences or paragraphs. Before editing begins, original text is ‘tested’ and scored for readability and reading level by Readability-Score.com, a free online tool that assesses text for readability and grade level using multiple reading assessment formulas. Next, using plain language resources, wordlists, toolkits and guidelines, the librarian edits the document, aiming for a 6th grade reading level. After revision, text is re-scored by Readability-Score.com. Last, ‘before and after’ documents are compared to determine if readability or grade level changed.
Keywords: Health Literacy, plain language, consumer health information, patient education
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Diana Almader-Douglas received her MA in Library Resources from The University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science in 2011, and is currently a librarian at Mayo Clinic Libraries- Arizona. Prior to earning her library degree, Diana was a licensed behavioral health therapist interested in evidence based clinical practice. Diana is dedicated to research, consumer health, health disparities, and health literacy. From 2012-2014, Diana participated in the National Library of Medicine’s Associate Fellowship Program.
In her current role as hospital librarian, Diana conducts literature searches for patrons, assists patrons with research projects, and teaches patrons how to access and utilize library resources. She is a member of the Nursing Research Subcommittee and the Patient and Family Education Subcommittee.
Diana lives in Glendale, Arizona with her family and enjoys reading, cooking, and acrylic painting.
Monday, May 29
1:20 PM – 1:35 PM
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