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Plain Language Tips, Tutorials, and Tools

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These are the slides from a presentation in summer of 2009 for a clinical team reworking their patient website.

These are the slides from a presentation in summer of 2009 for a clinical team reworking their patient website.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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  • 1. Plain Language for Communicating with Patients – Tips, Tutorials, & Tools by Patricia F Anderson Emerging Technologies Librarian UM Health Sciences Libraries [email_address]
  • 2. Outline
    • Why
    • Tips
    • Tutorials
      • Examples
    • Tools
  • 3.
    • WordsCount logo <http://www.wordscount.info/>
    • CLAD (Clear Language and Design) Certifiate <http://www.eastendliteracy.on.ca/clearlanguageanddesign/>
    • SMOG (Simple Measure of Gobbledygook) logo <http://www.harrymclaughlin.com/SMOG.htm>
    • Plain English Campaign logo <http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/>
    • Clear Language Group logo <http://www.clearlanguagegroup.com/>
    • Plain Language.gov logo <http://www.plainlanguage.gov/populartopics/health_literacy/index.cfm>
  • 4. WHY PLAIN LANGUAGE?
  • 5.
    • PlainLanguage.gov homepage <http://www.plainlanguage.gov/>
  • 6.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Plain Language page <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/plainlanguage/PlainLanguage.htm>
  • 7.
    • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Roundtable on Health Literacy <http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/HealthLiteracy.aspx>
  • 8.
    • Healthy People 2010 Health Communication page <http://www.healthypeople.gov/document/html/volume1/11healthcom.htm>
  • 9.
    • Department of Health and Human Services tips for improving the usability of health forms and instructions <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/services.htm>
    • Healthy People 2010 Health Communication Summary of Objectives <http://www.healthypeople.gov/document/html/volume1/11healthcom.htm#_Toc490471356>
  • 10.
    • Healthy People 201 Objectives <http://www.healthypeople.gov/document/html/volume1/11healthcom.htm#_Toc490471357>
  • 11.
    • U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy Improvement Strategies <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/services.htm>
  • 12.
    • U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy Improvement Strategies <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/services.htm>
  • 13.
    • U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy Improvement Strategies <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/healthinfo.htm>
  • 14.
    • U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy Improvement Strategies : Usability <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/healthinfo.htm>
  • 15. TIPS
  • 16.
    • Checklist for Improving the Usability of Health Information from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/healthinfo.htm>
  • 17.
    • MedlinePlus: How to Write Easy-to-Read Health Materials <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/etr.html>
  • 18.
    • PlainLanguage.gov Popular Topics: Health Literacy <http://www.plainlanguage.gov/populartopics/health_literacy/index.cfm>
  • 19.
    • State of Washington GMAP (Government Management Accountability & Performance) Plain Talk page <http://www.accountability.wa.gov/plaintalk/>
  • 20. TUTORIALS
  • 21.
    • Pfizer’s Clear Health Communication Initiative site <http://www.pfizerhealthliteracy.com/index.html>
  • 22.
    • Plain Language Online Training <http://www.plainlanguagenetwork.org/plaintrain/index.html>
  • 23.
    • Harvard School fo Public Health Health Literacy Studies: Guidelines for Using Plain Language at NIH <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/>
  • 24. EXAMPLES
  • 25.
    • Allergy tablet information and Drug Facts
  • 26.
    • PlainLanguage.gov Before-and-After Comparisons <http://plainlanguage.gov>
  • 27.
    • PlainLanguage.gov Before-and-After Comparisons <http://plainlanguage.gov>
  • 28.
    • PlainLanguage.gov Before-and-After Comparisons <http://plainlanguage.gov>
  • 29.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy: Sample informed consent language <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/services.htm>
  • 30.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy <http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/healthinfo.htm>
  • 31. THE HARVARD TUTORIAL & TOOLS
    • Highlights
    • http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html
  • 32.
    • NIH external group interests table
    • This and the following slides in the section are from The Harvard Tutorial: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 33.
    • Statement explaining benefits of plain language <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 34.
    • Four starting points to creating plain language materials <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 35.
    • Reading level matched to type of information chart <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 36.
    • Tips for writing clearly <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 37.
    • Word usage suggestions <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 38.
    • Using pronouns to engage the reader <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 39.
    • Words to use to eliminate confusion <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 40.
    • Examples of jargon, which should be avoided <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 41.
    • Use positive words <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 42.
    • Avoid gender-specific words <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 43.
    • Avoid long strings of nouns <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 44.
    • Use active voice <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 45.
    • Use action verbs <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 46.
    • Use present tense when possible <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 47.
    • Be consistent in how you present information <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 48.
    • Be direct <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 49.
    • Avoid using exceptions <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 50.
    • Use headings to guide the reader – question-and-answer format can be especially helpful <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 51.
    • Checklist to ensure clear language <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 52.
    • Instructions on how to use the S.M.O.G. (simple measure of gobbledegook) <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html>
  • 53.
    • SMOG <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/clear.html> Conversion Table
  • 54. TOOLS
    • Glossaries, Thesauri, and Dictionaries
  • 55.
    • SMOG Calculator <http://www.harrymclaughlin.com/SMOG.htm>
  • 56.
    • Federal Plain Language Guidelines : Plainlanugage.gov <http://plainlanguage.gov>
  • 57.
    • Washington State Department of Health Guidelines for Developing Easy-to-Read Health Education Materials <http://www3.doh.wa.gov/here/howto/images/easy2.html>
  • 58.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Plain Language Thesaurus <http://www.nphic.org/files/editor/file/thesaurus_1007.pdf>
  • 59.
    • Plain Language Glossary of Preventative Health Terms <http://www.ccah-alliance.org/providerspdfs/PlainLanguageGlossary.pdf>
  • 60.
    • Glossary of Plain Words <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/how_to/glossary.pdf>
  • 61.
    • Harvard School of Public Health Health Literacy Studies: Innovative Materials <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/practice/innovative-actions/index.html>
  • 62. NEW TOOL FROM HSL
  • 63.
    • Taubman Health Sciences Libraries Plain English Medical Dictionary: http://www.lib.umich.edu/plain-language-dictionary
  • 64.
    • Taubman Health Sciences Libraries Plain English Medical Dictionary: http://www.lib.umich.edu/plain-language-dictionary
  • 65.
    • Taubman Health Sciences Libraries Plain English Medical Dictionary: http://www.lib.umich.edu/plain-language-dictionary
      • This work was performed under a subcontract with the University of Illinois at Chicago and made possible by grant #N01-LM-6-3503 from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
  • 66. MORE RESOURCES
    • Links: http://delicious.com/rosefirerising/plain+language
    • Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/umhealthscienceslibraries
  • 67.
    • Offer an opportunity for feedback.

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