Alt: A doodle with cat head talks to a health care provider doodle by way of video chat. The physician doodle asks, “Can you tell me the steps to care for your cat head?” The different doodle says, “Sure. First I’ll do the hokey-pokey. Then I’ll turn myself around.” The physician doodle responds, “Yes! That’s what it’s all about!”

As you undoubtedly know by now, pricey readers, we often serve up well being lit ideas for creating well being training supplies. But placing well being literacy greatest practices into, properly, follow isn’t solely about writing. And we all know that for a lot of of you, face-to-face convos are a giant a part of your work.

Teaching somebody well being info in individual — or by cellphone or Zoom — offers you 1 key benefit over written supplies: you could find out in actual time in case your viewers understands the data you’re speaking — after which clarify it in a brand new method in the event that they don’t.

How, you ask? The teach-back method! It’s a way that well being care suppliers and well being educators can use to test for understanding. And with the rising variety of telehealth visits — the place well being literacy issues could possibly be tougher to identify — it might be further necessary to have a stable technique for ensuring you’re successfully explaining well being info.

At its core, teach-back entails 4 steps:

1. Explain the data. You know the drill: use plain language, select culturally acquainted phrases and examples, and concentrate on the related motion steps. If you’re explaining an motion — say, easy methods to discover allergens on a meals label — display it when you can.

2. Check understanding. This step is vital as a result of we all know that folks are inclined to say they perceive well being info even once they actually don’t. So as a substitute of asking, “Do you understand?,” ask individuals to clarify what you instructed them in their very own phrases. Emphasize that you simply’re not testing them however somewhat checking how properly you defined the data. Try one thing like this: “I know that was a lot of information, and I want to make sure I explained everything correctly. Can you tell me in your own words what you need to do after this visit?”

3. Re-explain if wanted. If your first clarification didn’t fairly get the job finished, clarify once more in a brand new method. Try writing down the data you’re giving, circling key info on a handout they’ll take dwelling, or navigating to a webpage collectively.

4. Re-check understanding. Ask individuals once more to clarify in their very own phrases. Focus on no matter they struggled with the primary time. You can get artistic right here, too — when you’ve confirmed somebody easy methods to do one thing, like use an inhaler, ask them to display how they’d do it.

The backside line: For in-person, cellphone, and video well being convos, teach-back is a simple and efficient method to verify individuals perceive well being info.

Tweet about it: For face-to-face — or virtual — convos, the teach-back method is a great way to make sure people understand health information. @CommunicateHlth explains how to use it: #HealthLit #HealthComm

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