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Lake Hospital System Selected as Pilot Site for Health Information Literacy Research Project
Date:4/15/2008

PAINESVILLE, Ohio, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Communication is essential for the effective delivery of health care. Unfortunately, there is often a disparity between what a doctor says and a patient's level of understanding. In fact, evidence shows that patients often misinterpret or do not understand much of the information given to them. This lack of understanding can lead to missed appointments, medication errors and poor medical outcomes.

To help facilitate effective communication between medical professionals and their patients, Lake Hospital System is participating in a research project that aims to boost "health literacy" nationwide. Health literacy is defined as the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment.

"The need for today's patients to be 'health literate' is greater than ever, because medical care has grown progressively more complex," said Ted Nichols, MD, senior vice president of Medical Affairs for Lake Hospital System. "We treat our patients with an ever-increasing array of medications, and we ask them to take on more and more complicated self-care regimens."

Lake Hospital System is one of only nine hospital libraries across the country selected to participate in the Medical Library Association's Health Information Literacy Research Project, which is being funded through a $250,000 two-year contract from the National Library of Medicine. Under the project, participants will evaluate hospital-based health care providers' awareness and understanding of health information literacy and its value in support of patient care. This research will lay the foundation for the development of health information literacy education classes to be given by hospital librarians to their local health care providers.

"There are many factors that influence health literacy. In addition to a patient's general literacy, y
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SOURCE Lake Hospital System
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