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Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:00 AM
Podcast: Understanding Your Health Information

Debra: From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, I’m Debra James with Healthcare 411: Information for better health.

Understanding health care information isn’t always easy. Patient handouts, medical forms and health Web sites are filled with jargon and complicated directions that can be hard to follow. AHRQ expert Cindy Brach:

Brach: Research shows a link between low health literacy and, for example, misunderstanding medicine labels. While the health care system is working to make information easier to understand, consumers can take an active role. So if you don’t understand something, ask questions - like, "What time of day should I take this medicine?" or if the instructions say, "Take with food" you might ask, "Do I have to have a whole meal, or will a cracker do?" Talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. You may find it helpful to bring a friend or family member with you to appointments. They can help you ask questions and keep track of the information you receive.

Debra: Healthcare 411 is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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