Creating a culture that values plain language - Karen Baker

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Building a plain language culture is a major undertaking,
but a corporate setting presents a special set of challenges.
Karen Baker of Healthwise will discuss her organization’s
history, strategies, and programs to build and sustain
a corporate culture of plain language. She will address
typical pitfalls and challenges and suggest steps for
others to take. Dr. Susan Kleimann, President of Kleimann
Communication Group, will serve as moderator for this
panel.

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Creating a culture that values plain language - Karen Baker

  1. 1. 1 Creating a culture that values plain language Karen Baker, MHS Healthwise © Healthwise, Incorporated
  2. 2. Cao de agua (Portuguese water dogs) Lucky and Bungee
  3. 3. Agenda What’s Healthwise? Why do we care? How do we do it? What can you learn?
  4. 4. Healthwise: Serving people worldwide from Boise, Idaho BoiseBoise
  5. 5. Nonprofit organization since 1975 Our mission: To help people make better health decisions
  6. 6. Some of our clients and partners
  7. 7. Why? All about people and decisions Health literacy Mission: To help people make better health decisions (since 1975) …capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. * Healthy People 2010 Plain LanguagePlain Language
  8. 8. More challenges ahead Average literacy skills of working adults are expected to decline significantly by 2030 … … An epidemic of limited health literacy (Parker et al, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2008)
  9. 9. Steps (only 6!) to building a plain language culture Identify BenefitsIdentify Benefits11 Get Top-Level SupportGet Top-Level Support22 TrainTrain33 CommitCommit44 Include UsersInclude Users55 Have Fun!Have Fun!66
  10. 10. Identify Benefits Meet Anna Stuart Back pain caused by a surfing injury 10 years ago Metabolic disorder with symptoms similar to diabetes 11 Taking Medical Jargon Out of Doctor Visits, Wall Street Journal, July 2010
  11. 11. There are all these huge words and ambiguous terms, and you only vaguely understand any of it. “ ” Identify Benefits11 Taking Medical Jargon Out of Doctor Visits, Wall Street Journal, July 2010 Healthwise plain language helped her learn about treatment options
  12. 12. Medical gobbledygook robs people of their autonomy. Without understanding they have no real say in their care. Plain language gives it back. “ ” Get C-Level Support22 Don KemperDon Kemper Healthwise Founder and CEOHealthwise Founder and CEO
  13. 13. Train33
  14. 14. Commit44
  15. 15. Include users55
  16. 16. Grammar Day quiz Editors plan Treats for right answers Entire staff joins in Have Fun!66
  17. 17. 17 What does plain language look like?
  18. 18. Healthwise® Ix® Conversations
  19. 19. More than just words
  20. 20. Teach with pronunciation guide
  21. 21. Show AND tell
  22. 22. Show AND tell Brief DescriptionBrief Description Lots of ImagesLots of Images Step-by-StepStep-by-Step InstructionsInstructions
  23. 23. Healthwise® Handbook
  24. 24. Create a plain language culture Identify BenefitsIdentify Benefits11 Get C-Level SupportGet C-Level Support22 TrainTrain33 CommitCommit44 Include UsersInclude Users55 Have Fun!Have Fun!66
  25. 25. Karen Baker, MHS www.healthwise.org © Healthwise, Incorporated

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