Health Literacy

Did you know that when we are stressed, we are all less literate?

When we are unwell or receiving news about a serious medical condition, we don't hear, read, or process information as well as we usually do.

And yet this is when communication matters most.

Try to remember to ask your health care provider three simple but important questions:

  1. What is my main problem?
  2. What do I need to do?
  3. Why is it important for me to do this?

These questions are printed on a handy Ask Me 3 business card—perfect for the health care provider to give to patients, and easy for us to keep for future visits.

Better communication means better health, and Ask Me 3 is a good reminder for all of us.

Health care providers:

For a free supply of Ask Me 3 cards, or for more information about health literacy, please contact us.

 Please remember, though, that patients may not remember to ask these questions, and that 42% of adult Canadians between the ages of 18 and 65 aren't able to read as well as they should.

These adults often cope by masking their confusion. And even the most literate adults struggle when faced with unfamiliar medical terminology.

When communicating, it's always helpful to use a teach-back method. Ask your patient, "Can you tell me in your own words what I have asked you to do?" The patient's response will show what instructions you need to clarify.

Find out more information about plain language communication here, or contact us.