There is a communication crisis in this country, and it is costing us billions of dollars, as well as our happiness, our health, and possibly our lives.
When your doctor gives you your diagnosis, and hands you some “helpful” reading material that is so steeped in medical jargon that you can barely understand two our of every five words…this is beyond simply being unhelpful, and easily venturing into dangerous territory, and even into the realm of the negligent. By not providing you adequate explanations of your condition, symptoms, treatment, and options, your physician is failing to “first do no harm”.
The problem stems from an examination of the term “adequate explanation”. Adequate for whom? Medical professionals, with their years of schooling and years more of daily experience with the myriad terms and specialized phrases, have no problem understanding the jargon of their peers. But their peers are not the only ones who need to understand the material. In fact, it is far less important that they understand it, and more vital that it be clearly and easily explained to the patient, upon whose life that understanding may very well depend.
There are many different kinds of intelligence. Intricate knowledge of one field does not make you an expert at communication in that same field with those with similarly detailed knowledge, let alone communication with non experts. The ability to concisely and effectively information is its own skill, and sadly, one that is often independent of many other skills.
So what is the answer? One of the most effective tools for bridging the health information gap between specialist and patient has proven to be health literacy videos. These productions are produced by people who specialize in communication, from listening to experts and asking the correct questions to understand the material, to putting that information into free health videos to educate the people who need it most. And to do it in a way that will speak to everyone, regardless of education or background.
Health literacy videos are helping to correct misunderstandings before they happen, to answer the most common health questions succinctly and effectively, and, as a result, to save the health care industry literally billions of dollars in unnecessary return visits to hospitals or clinics due by misinformed patients. By investing in health literacy videos, medical professionals are investing in the future of the industry, the health of the nation, and the stability of the bond of trust between a doctor and patient.