Texas Medical Center Kiosks Feature AHRQ-Funded Publication on Patient Engagement
Materials created through the AHRQ-funded Excellence Centers to Eliminate Ethnic/Racial Disparities (EXCEED) program in Houston have been approved for inclusion in the Texas Medical Center's (TMC) Health Information Kiosk Project.
The "How to Talk to Your Doctor" publication is a synthesis of the no-cost educational program by the same name. Offered to communities in the Houston and greater Houston metropolitan area, it teaches health care consumers and patients enhanced communication skills to use during medical interactions as a means of achieving improved health outcomes. Designed and implemented through the Information Dissemination arm of the Houston EXCEED program, the "How to Talk to Your Doctor" information taught through these educational forums has been made available in five languages—English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean—at 12 health information kiosks at various locations around the city.
Given that the Houston-based TMC is the largest of its kind in the world, the fact that the "How to Talk to Your Doctor" materials are the first ever TMC institution-related materials to be approved for inclusion in the Health Information Kiosk program is a significant accomplishment for the Houston EXCEED program.
The kiosks provide information about a number of health topics ranging from diabetes to domestic violence. It is expected that the inclusion of the "How to Talk to Your Doctor" program materials will significantly contribute toward filling the existing gap in educating consumers about various health topics while simultaneously providing them with the communication skills necessary to proactively advocate for their healthcare needs. Some kiosks provide information in paper format only, while others provide electronic touch-screen access with the option to print materials of interest. With the electronic kiosks, TMC is able to monitor that use.
The focus of the Houston EXCEED program is on researching, designing, and implementing programs and interventions to address and facilitate effective doctor-patient communication. Costs for including the "How to Talk to Your Doctor" materials in the TMC kiosk project are being absorbed by the TMC "Friends of the Library" charitable fund.
The EXCEED program is one of a series of AHRQ initiatives aimed at improving the health and health care of priority populations and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, health care access, and service delivery. The programs are aimed to expand the knowledge base on disparities in several clinical conditions—e.g., diabetes, infant mortality, cancer screening and management, and cardiovascular disease.