Keep an Eye on “Monitor”

Illustration of a stick figure about to chop an old computer monitor with an ax.

Because it’s our — err, we meant your — favorite kind of post, we’ve got another installment of our unofficial “use simpler words” series. On the chopping block this week: “monitor.” Consider these somewhat vague statements: We’ll be monitoring your blood pressure from now on. Monitor your child’s fever to make sure it’s not getting higher. Use … Continue reading

2015 Health Literacy Events

Illustration of heath literacy events.

National events and conferences are great places to pick up new ideas, get perspective and inspiration, and strengthen your health communication muscles. They’re also excellent opportunities to meet other health literacy advocates, swap resources, and share strategies. Here are just a few of our favorite health literacy events coming up this year: Institute for Healthcare … Continue reading

How do you explain “co-pay” in plain language?

Illustration of a stick figure holding the word co-pay

Because of the Affordable Care Act, more people are getting health insurance than ever before. Yay! On the less fun side of things, these new customers are wading through a pile of complex terms. Words like premium, deductible, co-insurance, and co-pay are just the beginning (don’t get us started on actuarial value). It’s enough to make anyone’s … Continue reading

Using Gut Reactions for Better Health Communication

Illustration of gut reactions to health information

We self-professed health nerds love logic. We love researching, exploring, experimenting, and drawing conclusions. But even we don’t always rely on logic to make decisions in our day-to-day lives. Every day, people make decisions based on gut reactions — a phenomenon also known as the affect heuristic. These gut reactions cause us to automatically and unconsciously … Continue reading

The Whole Story of Health

Narrative Medicine by Rita Charon

“I’m your doctor and you’re my patient — and in order to help you I need to know a great deal about your body, your health, and your life.” This is how Dr. Rita Charon, literary scholar, internist, and founder of the Narrative Medicine Master’s Program at Columbia University, starts every visit with new patients. … Continue reading