Publication Date 01/04/2014         Volume. 6 No. 3   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Business is tight!
Cash flow has evaporated!
The PGA calls for unity while simultaneously dismembering the business of consultant pharmacists.
The federal government continues to strip massive funds from the PBS to the extent that it is gasping for air.
Oh, and I forgot, the Revive Clinic thinks that pharmacists cannot vaccinate patients in community pharmacies ( It is actually a warehouse pharmacy group trying to destabilise the market here to push fellow-pharmacists off balance by supporting the Revive group).
Even wage-earning pharmacists have discovered that they have not had a rise in their pay over the past five years

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Patients Don't Understand Health Information

Staff Writer

articles by this author...

Editing and Researching news and stories about global and local Pharmacy Issues

Nearly 50 percent of patients have difficulty understanding health information.
Confusing medical directions, such as word choice, dosage and timing of prescription medicine, can lead to serious consequences including health setbacks, inappropriate hospital admissions and sometimes, death.

Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Health Professions have examined a rehabilitation facility and an independent senior-living facility to see what health care facilities can do to increase patient understanding and positive outcomes.

At the independent living facility, paperwork was written at a college-sophomore reading level. Previous studies have recommended that medical information be written at a fifth to eighth-grade reading level.

Another common health literacy issue is clear oral communication between health care professionals and patients. At the rehabilitation facility, health care professionals rarely asked patients if they were "being clear".

Problems with oral communication also extend to a lack of availability of multilingual employees who can translate for providers. Following the evaluation, the researchers gave suggestions to each facility.

Researchers recommend several steps that the health care industry can take to increase patient understanding:

* Health care professionals should use plain language, instead of professional jargon, as well as make sure a patient understands their directions.
* Printed materials should be available in large, easy-to-read fonts and written at a fifth to eighth grade level.
* Clear maps and consistent navigational signs should be posted throughout the interior, as well as on the exterior of the building.
* Wheelchair accessibility also should be a consideration beyond mobility. For example, maps should be posted at wheelchair-level.

Researchers are working to educate current and future health care professionals on the importance of patient understanding by speaking at professional conferences and advocating curriculum changes.

The study was published in the journal Occupational Therapy in Health Care.

Older Americans need help with end of life medical care
One in four elderly Americans require someone else to make decisions about their medical care at the end of their lives, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The results illustrate the value of people making their wishes known in a living will and designating someone to make treatment decisions for them, the researchers said.

The Associated Press reported that in the study, those who spelled out their preferences in living wills usually got the treatment they wanted. Only a few wanted heroic measures to prolong their lives.

The researchers said it's the first accounting of how many of the elderly really end up needing medical decisions made for them.

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