WHA is working with Wisconsin Health Literacy to improve the use of standardized directions for patients in order to remove barriers to understanding health information and boost follow-through on health care plans.
The inability to understand, use and communicate health information particularly affects patients with lower health literacy, resulting in preventable hospital and emergency department visits, lower use of preventive services, difficulty managing chronic conditions, greater medication errors and poor medication adherence.
Clear medication directions improve patient understanding of when and how to take medicine and helps with prescription adherence. For example, the Universal Medication Schedule
uses health literacy best practices such as numerals instead of spelled out numbers and explicit timings such as “morning,” “noon,” “evening” and “bedtime” to create clearer directions for patients.
Wisconsin Health Literacy is a division of Wisconsin Literacy and works to promote clear communication between those who give and those who receive health care services. Using the Universal Medication Schedule directions when prescribing medication and during medication education is a simple way to improve appropriate medication use.
More information about this initiative is available on Wisconsin Health Literacy’s website
Contact WHA Chief Quality Officer Nadine Allen
for more information.