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Let’s Talk About Health, Baby
Health literacy and why it matters
“Health literacy is the degree to which
individuals have the capacity to obtain,
process and understand basic health
infor...
Why literacy matters
The healthcare landscape is
becoming increasingly complex to
navigate. It’s now up to individuals
to ...
Use design to
improve outcomes
You can make simple changes to your
product or service to improve
someone’s ability to unde...
Keep it simple
Say this:

When discussing healthcare,
diseases and anatomy, use layman’s
terms and examples, not medical
j...
Be positive
Clearly say what you want people to
do, and explain the benefits. Be
conversational when writing, and
avoid lan...
Limit messages
Provide information over time, not all
at once. People can only retain a
limited amount of information at a...
Use graphics and
color when appropriate
Visual and written cues can help
people understand what they need to
do. Illustrat...
Engage your
audience
The age of managing our own health
is here. Create opportunities to
engage people with their wellbein...
Thank You.
Danielle Spires, Senior Project Manager

www.comradeagency.com
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Let’s Talk About Health, Baby: Health literacy and why it matters

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As the healthcare landscape becomes increasingly complex, companies in the space are facing new challenges. To succeed, not only must they continue to comply with strict regulations, but they also need to communicate to people effectively through design, interaction, and words.

Read on to learn how health literacy principles can improve engagement and help increase the likelihood of people’s adherence to treatments and better health outcomes.

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Let’s Talk About Health, Baby: Health literacy and why it matters

  1. 1. Let’s Talk About Health, Baby Health literacy and why it matters
  2. 2. “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  3. 3. Why literacy matters The healthcare landscape is becoming increasingly complex to navigate. It’s now up to individuals to take a more active role in managing their own health. Health literacy can help increase the likelihood of adherence to treatment and better health outcomes.
  4. 4. Use design to improve outcomes You can make simple changes to your product or service to improve someone’s ability to understand it. Let’s look at a few.
  5. 5. Keep it simple Say this: When discussing healthcare, diseases and anatomy, use layman’s terms and examples, not medical jargon. When you can’t simplify or remove information, be sure to clearly explain it. Having sex Not this: Intercourse The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends using language between 3rd and 5th grade reading levels. There are many readability tests available: Fry, Flesh-Kincaid, FOG and SMOG.
  6. 6. Be positive Clearly say what you want people to do, and explain the benefits. Be conversational when writing, and avoid language that sounds judgmental. If you make people feel bad about their current behavior or health situation, they may be less likely to work on improving it. www.plainlanguage.gov
  7. 7. Limit messages Provide information over time, not all at once. People can only retain a limited amount of information at any given time. If someone is newly diagnosed or suffering from a life threatening illness, the ability to retain and understand information will be lower. Only provide need-to-know information. www.plainlanguage.gov
  8. 8. Use graphics and color when appropriate Visual and written cues can help people understand what they need to do. Illustrations reinforce messages and provide visual interest. When using illustrations, be sure they reinforce the key message or behavior you want people to adopt. www.plainlanguage.gov
  9. 9. Engage your audience The age of managing our own health is here. Create opportunities to engage people with their wellbeing. Ask questions they can answer, or give them activities to track. Provide simple tasks and actions they can adopt for a healthier lifestyle. www.plainlanguage.gov
  10. 10. Thank You. Danielle Spires, Senior Project Manager www.comradeagency.com

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