Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd Edition

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd Edition

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Please select one answer that most accurately describes your practice:
Doing Well Our practice is doing this well
Needs Improvement Our practice is doing this, but could do it better
Not Doing Our practice is not doing this
Not Sure OR N/A I don't know the answer to this question OR
  This is not applicable to our practice

1. Prepare for Practice Change

  Doing Well Needs Improvement Not Doing Not Sure or N/A Tools to Help
1. Our health literacy team meets regularly. ___ ___ ___ ___ 1—Form Team
2. Our practice regularly re-assesses our health literacy environment and updates our health literacy improvement goals. ___ ___ ___ ___ 2—Create a Health Literacy Improvement Plan
13—Welcome Patients
3. Our practice has a written Health Literacy Improvement Plan and collects data to see if objectives are being met. ___ ___ ___ ___ 2—Create a Health Literacy Improvement Plan
4. All staff members have received health literacy education. ___ ___ ___ ___ 3—Raise Awareness
5. All levels of practice staff have agreed to support changes to make it easier for patients to navigate, understand, and use health information and services. ___ ___ ___ ___ 3—Raise Awareness
6. All staff members understand that limited health literacy is common and can affect all individuals at one time or another. ___ ___ ___ ___ 3—Raise Awareness
7. Our Health Literacy Team understands how to implement and test changes designed to improve performance. ___ ___ ___ ___ 2—Create a Health Literacy Improvement Plan

2. Improve Spoken Communication

  Doing Well Needs Improvement Not Doing Not Sure
or N/A
Tools to Help
8. All staff members speak clearly (e.g., use plain, everyday words and speak at a moderate pace). ___ ___ ___ ___ 4—Commun. Clearly
9. All staff members listen carefully to patients without interrupting. ___ ___ ___ ___ 4—Commun. Clearly
10. All staff members limit themselves to 3—5 key points and repeat those points for reinforcement. ___ ___ ___ ___ 4—Commun. Clearly
11. All staff members use audio/video materials and/or visual aids to promote better understanding (e.g., food models for portion sizes, models of body parts, instructional health videos). ___ ___ ___ ___ 4—Commun. Clearly
12—Use Health Ed. Material Effectively
12. Our practice ensures patients have the equipment and know-how to use recommended audio-visual materials and Internet resources. ___ ___ ___ ___ 12—Use Health Ed. Material Effectively
13. All clinicians talk with patients about any educational materials they receive during the visit and emphasize the important information. ___ ___ ___ ___ 12—Use Health Ed. Material Effectively
14. All staff members ask patients to state key points in their own words (i.e., use the teach-back method) to assess patients' understanding of information. ___ ___ ___ ___ 5—Teach-Back Method
15. Clinicians routinely review with patients all the medicines they take, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements, and ask patients to demonstrate how to take them. ___ ___ ___ ___ 8—Brown Bag Review
5—Teach-Back Method
16. Our practice routinely provides patients with updated medicine lists that describe in easy-to-understand language what medicines the patient is to take and how to take them. ___ ___ ___ ___ 8—Brown Bag Review
17. Our practice trains patients to use our patient portal. ___ ___ ___ ___ 12—Use Health Ed. Material Effectively
18. Staff members contact patients between office visits to ensure understanding or to follow up on plans made during the visit. ___ ___ ___ ___ 6—Follow up
19. Staff members assess patients' language preferences and record them in the medical record. ___ ___ ___ ___ 9—Language Differences
13—Welcome Patients
20. Our practice always uses appropriate language services (e.g., trained medical interpreters, trained bilingual clinicians, materials in other languages) with patients who do not speak English very well. ___ ___ ___ ___ 9—Language Differences
21. When staff members give directions for finding the office, they refer to familiar landmarks and public transportation routes as needed. ___ ___ ___ ___ 7—Telephone
22. If there is an automated phone system, one option is to speak with a person. ___ ___ ___ ___ 7—Telephone
23. Our practice is able to respond to phone calls in the main languages spoken by our patients. ___ ___ ___ ___ 7—Telephone
24. Staff members offer everyone help (e.g., filling out forms, using patient portal) regardless of appearance. ___ ___ ___ ___ 12—Use Health Ed. Material Effectively
13—Welcome Patients

3. Improve Written Communication

  Doing Well Needs Improvement Not Doing Not Sure or N/A Tools to Help
25. At least one staff member knows how to assess, prepare, and simplify written materials so they are easier to read. ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
26. Our practice gets patient feedback on written materials. ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
17—Patient Feedback
27. Our practice assesses whether written materials are easy to understand. ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
28. Our practice's patient education materials are concise, use plain language, and are organized and formatted to make them easy to read and understand. ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
29. If appropriate, our written materials are available in languages other than English. ___ ___ ___ ___ 9—Language Differences
30. Our practice's forms are easy to understand and fill out, and collect only necessary information. ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
31. Lab and test results letters are concise, use plain language, and are organized and formatted to make them easy to read and understand (e.g., avoid the use of "positive" or "negative" results). ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
32. The name of the practice is clearly displayed on the outside of the building, and signs are posted throughout the office to direct patients to appropriate locations (e.g., practice entrance, restrooms, check-in, check-out, lab, etc.). ___ ___ ___ ___ 13—Welcome Patients
33. The walls and bulletin boards are not covered with too many printed notices. It is easy for anyone to pick out the important information. ___ ___ ___ ___ 13—Welcome Patients
34. Office signs use large, clearly visible lettering and plain, everyday words such as "Walk‐In" and "Health Center" rather than formal words such as "Ambulatory Care" or "Primary Care Practice." ___ ___ ___ ___ 13—Welcome Patients
35. Office signs are written in English and in the primary languages of the populations being served (e.g., if most of the patients speak English or Spanish, signs are written in English and Spanish). ___ ___ ___ ___ 13—Welcome Patients

4. Improve Self-Management and Empowerment

  Doing Well Needs Improvement Not Doing Not Sure or N/A Tools to Help
36. Our practice creates an environment that encourages our patients to ask questions (e.g., asking "What questions do you have?" instead of "Do you have any questions?") and get involved with their care. ___ ___ ___ ___ 13—Welcome Patients
14—Enc. Questions
15—Make Action Plans
37. Clinicians help patients choose health improvement goals and develop action plans to take manageable steps toward goals. ___ ___ ___ ___ 15—Make Action Plans
38. Clinicians consider their patients' religion, culture, and ethnic customs when devising treatment options. ___ ___ ___ ___ 10—Consider Culture
39. Our practice follows up with patients to determine if their action plan goals have been met. ___ ___ ___ ___ 6—Follow up
15—Make Action Plans
40. Clinicians write precise instructions for taking medicine that are easy-to-understand (e.g., "take 1 pill in the morning and 1 pill at bedtime" instead of "take twice daily"). ___ ___ ___ ___ 16—Help Patients with Medicine
41. Staff members discuss different methods for remembering to take medicines correctly and offer patients assistance setting up a system (e.g., pill box, medicine chart). ___ ___ ___ ___ 16—Help Patients with Medicine
42. Our practice requests feedback from patients. ___ ___ ___ ___ 11—Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials
17—Patient Feedback

5. Improve Supportive Systems

  Doing Well Needs Improvement Not Doing Not Sure or N/A Tools to Help
43. Staff members assess patients' ability to pay for medicines. ___ ___ ___ ___ 19—Medicine Resources
44. Staff members connect patients with medicine assistance programs, including helping them fill out applications as needed. ___ ___ ___ ___ 19—Medicine Resources
45. Staff members assess patients' non-medical barriers and take initiative to address them and provide appropriate referrals or extra support as needed. ___ ___ ___ ___ 18—Non-Medical Support
46. Staff members ask patients if they have trouble reading or understanding and using numbers. ___ ___ ___ ___ 20—Literacy Resources
47. Our practice maintains an up-to-date list of community resources and refers patients as needed. ___ ___ ___ ___ 18—Non-Medical Support
20—Literacy Resources
48. Staff members help patients access adult literacy and math programs. ___ ___ ___ ___ 20—Literacy Resources
49. Our practice shares important referral information (e.g., reason for referral, pertinent medical history, test results) directly with other health care clinicians. ___ ___ ___ ___ 21—Referrals
50. Staff members offer patients help with referrals, such as making an appointment. ___ ___ ___ ___ 18—Non-Medical Support
20—Literacy Resources
21—Referrals
51. Staff members confirm patient follow through after a referral is made. ___ ___ ___ ___ 6—Follow up
18—Non-Medical Support
20—Literacy Resources
21—Referrals

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Page last reviewed February 2015
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd Edition. Content last reviewed February 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/literacy-toolkit/healthlittoolkit2-tool2a.html