||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.