Friday, September 29, 2006

Lĭt / uh / ruh / sē Äw / fĭs

October: Health Literacy Month: Institute of Medicine’s report Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion found that nearly half of all American adults have difficulty understanding and using health information; there is a higher rate of hospitalization and use of emergency services among patients with limited literacy. US Dept. of Health and Human Services report that medication errors are the 4th leading cause of death in the country and that fewer than 30% of older adults take their medications correctly. More at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006483
The economic cost of low literacy skills was about $73 billion in 1998 health care dollars: $30B for people who are functionally illiterate; $43B for people who are marginally literate. More at: http://hpi.georgetown.edu/agingsociety/pubhtml/healthlit.html
Kaiser Permanente offers "talking" prescription bottles to patients with vision problems in Northern California pharmacies. Designed for visually impaired or illiterate patients, the bottles enable a pharmacist to record the name, dosage, frequency, warnings and refill instructions. Patients press a button on the side of the Rex bottle to listen. Each talking pill bottle costs $4. Kaiser is not charging for them. More at: rxtalks.com
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” Mark Twain
photo: flickr.com: psychiatric by Billa

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