Helping Patients Communicate More Effectively About their Health

April 17, 2012
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I’m much more involved in patient engagement these days, so I’m really pleased to share some tools that will help patients communicate more effectively about their health.  We know that when patients become more actively involved in their own health, there’s a much stronger likelihood their health outcomes will be better.

I’m much more involved in patient engagement these days, so I’m really pleased to share some tools that will help patients communicate more effectively about their health.  We know that when patients become more actively involved in their own health, there’s a much stronger likelihood their health outcomes will be better.

Questions are the Answer,” is a new public education initiative from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), encourageing patients to have more effective two-way communication with their doctors and other clinicians.  The Questions website includes free educational tools for providers to use with their patients:

  • 7-minute video featuring real-life patients and clinicians who give firsthand accounts on the importance of asking questions and sharing information – this tool is ideal for a patient waiting room area and can be set to run on a continuous loop.  I’d also recommend adding the videos to your virtual patient waiting room (aka website or patient portal) with other resources.
  • A brochure, titled Be More Involved in Your Health Care: Tips for Patients,” that offers helpful suggestions to follow before, during and after a medical visit.
  • Notepads to help patients prioritize the top three questions they wish to ask during their medical appointment.
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Clinicians can request a free supply of these materials by calling AHRQ at 1-800-358-9295 or sending an email to AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

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