Health Literacy: The power of infographics for patient safety

January 26, 2016
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In 2008 The HELP Project of Bellevue Hospital released results of research on medication administration by caregivers of young children. They found that graphics instead of text heavy narratives resulted in improved compliance with instructions. They found that 47.8% of  caregivers (parents, sitters, etc) made dosing errors after standard medication counseling and 38% did not adhere to all instructions.

In 2008 The HELP Project of Bellevue Hospital released results of research on medication administration by caregivers of young children. They found that graphics instead of text heavy narratives resulted in improved compliance with instructions. They found that 47.8% of  caregivers (parents, sitters, etc) made dosing errors after standard medication counseling and 38% did not adhere to all instructions. After they added pictograms to the medication counseling process, the dosing error rate fell to 5.4% and only 9.3% did not adhere to all instructions.

The top graphic is an example of the pictographs used in the research.  They were simple, but effective.  Since then infographics have evolved and can be used to facilitate patient education while patients are still in the office or electronically via text, email, patient portal, social media, etc..  Two examples are included below. 

Picture1    Med mistakes   Picture3