(2007), the author recommends avoiding medical jargon when explaining to patients. For the sake of your readers, even those fluent in devspeak, there’s a better way to tell the story. Medical Jargon-Lost in translation Introduction Imagine you went to a hospital complaining of a sore throat and ‘runny’ nose, and this was the diagnosis the Doctors and nurses came up with; “ma’am/sir, you are suffering for ‘acute, mild, self-limiting catarrhal syndrome caused by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses”. Patient comprehension rates were generally low and never reached adequate thresholds. “Doctors may use familiar words in unfamiliar ways,” it said. Tips to improve patient communication for healthcare professionals are offered. By Mary Gillis, Reuters Health. Speaking slowly is recommended to improve patient comprehension 2. Methods: We audiotaped 74 outpatient encounters and coded unclarified jargon, assigning each term a clinical function.We administered telephone questionnaires to determine if comprehension of diabetes-related jargon varied with context. Doctors should speak slowly and avoid using jargon with their patients, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has said. Laura Withers is a surgeon. Policies | technical support for your product directly (links go to external sites): Thank you for your interest in spreading the word about The BMJ. Royal College of General Practitioners. Medical jargon has been described as a second language used by healthcare professionals to shorten and ease communication. The utilization of acronyms, jargon and common medical terms will continue within the healthcare industry. "The conversations generally avoid any medical jargon or terminology, and if they do use it, they explain it," says nurse practitioner and clinic manager Brian Vandendries. Physiology — this is the science of how the body functions normally.. Remember, there is almost always a less-technical way to say things. Health care professionals must become "medically bilingual," that is, learn to speak both medical jargon and plain language. Avoid Medical Jargon Try not to assume that patients know medical terminology or a lot about their disease. This acronym buster might be helpful alongside our understanding the NHS section. Five must-haves for your patient-centric email campaigns Inspire Promote offers clients the ability to market directly to our members using Targeted emails. Roter, D. L. (2011, APRIL). Try the following to reduce your use of medical jargon with patients: Practice, practice, practice. In patient care, this "medical shorthand" can cause confusion and diminish understanding between healthcare professional and patient. Jobs | For interprofessional teams, avoiding the use of unfamiliar medical terms and acronyms as well as making sure all team members, including patients and their family members, understand any medical terms and acronyms used to support collaborative practice and sound patient … Strategic Plan | To promote health literacy, the use of medical terminology and acronyms in patient encounters is discouraged. The demands of communicating verbally with patients are explored with an emphasis on the impact of medical jargon on patient understanding. Your audience isn’t your classroom or … Even though they may not understand, they may not ask you for a plain English translation. Prevalence of Health Literacy in U.S. “Doctors should first establish what the patient knows and understands before launching into a discussion that begins at a level either too complex or too simple for the patient,” the report added. Jargon can be an important communication aid between professionals in the same field, but it is important to avoid using technical jargon and clinical acronyms with patients. Healthcare professionals can use it to help translate medical terminology into simple language in order to improve patient communication. It can also cause confusion and misunderstanding between healthcare professionals because each healthcare specialty has its own set of unique medical terminology and acronyms. The report said, “Doctors can unintentionally use words that are unfamiliar to their patients, without realising that the meaning is not clear. More Rxs, more drugs and immunizations, more reimbursement requirements, and more patients, all add up to more messages flying back and forth. The average American reads and speaks at an 8th or 9th grade level, yet doctors with 20 years of education not only use jargon, but assume that their patients will understand their obscure communication. The author suggests showing pictures to enhance patients’ understanding as well as recall. Jargon is shorthand between professionals and is fine if everyone at a meeting or reading a report understands it. If you are unable to import citations, please contact Objective: To identify predictors of care avoidance and reasons for avoiding care. Pacific University Libraries | 2043 College Way | Forest Grove, OR 97116 | 503-352-1400, Copyright © Pacific University, all rights reserved, Mission & Vision | To promote health literacy, the use of medical terminology and acronyms in patient encounters is discouraged. In This Issue . Nursing Outlook, 59(2), 79-84. In those cases, jargon can be hard to avoid…but try. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. The excessive use of jargon in the NHS is causing confusion to staff and patients, according to the British Medical Association and the Plain English Campaign. Sometimes we have to write donor reports that respond directly to the devspeak in the monitoring and evaluation plan. Health literacy: report from an RCGP led health literacy workshop. Some concepts familiar and obvious to doctors may be alien to patients.” The RCGP said that doctors should speak slowly, avoid jargon, and repeat points to help improve patients’ understanding. For interprofessional teams, avoiding the use of unfamiliar medical terms and acronyms as well as making sure all team members, including patients and their family members, understand any medical terms and acronyms used to support collaborative practice and sound patient care. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. Recognizing when words have a different meaning in a medical context is an essential part of working to reduce jargon usage, and is more complex than simply avoiding medical terminology. These emails are a flexible way to launch in-house content using Inspire-approved language that resonates best with patients and caregivers alike. “Doctors may use familiar words in unfamiliar ways,” it said. Medical and pediatrics residents are known to overuse jargon in discussing sensitive issues with patients and families , . June 2014. Avoiding jargon that may be misconstrued our outside of a patient’s general knowledge 3 For scientists, jargon is any word or phrase that loses or changes meaning when you use it with people who aren’t in your field (or the sciences). We thus hypothesized that insensitivity to patients’ knowledge about jargon develops prior to residency, during … Oral literacy demand of health care communication: Challenges and solutions. This list of medical words decoded into plain language was developed by the Medical Library Association to help patients understand their healthcare provider. When you are new to working with the NHS it can be difficult to get used to some of the language and terms that are used. One GP, the report noted, said that a patient who had been referred for a chest x ray did not have it done, having failed to find the department because its sign read “Radiology” and he was too embarrassed to ask for help. A report on health literacy from the Royal College of General Practitioners (2014) cited the example of a patient who took the description of a “positive canc… Conclusion: Physicians caring for patients with limited health literacy employ unclarified jargon during key clinical functions. Jargon can be useful. “For example, when health practitioners use the term ‘chronic’ they frequently mean ‘persistent,’ whereas a common alternative understanding of the word is to mean ‘severe.’”. Commenting on the report, Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the RCGP, said, “Too often, our healthcare environments fail to recognise the needs of people with different levels of understanding about their health, meaning that patients are failing to receive the right care at the right time.”, She added, “We know that low health literacy affects all areas of health and healthcare, which is why we want to encourage GPs and the wider NHS to ensure that they are communicating complex information in a clear and manageable way. Adults, Identifying Patients with Low Health Literacy, Patient Communication: Jargon-Free Medical Terms, Patient Communication: Plain Language & Clear Communication, Patient Communication: Writing Low-Literate Patient Materials, Universal Precautions for Health Literacy/Shame Free Practices/Clinical Environments, Connection Between Low Health Literacy and Patient Outcomes, Culture, Language and Low Health Literacy, The Patient's Experience of Low Health Literacy, Health Literacy for Interprofessional Education (IPE) eToolkit, Videos - illustrating complexity of medical jargon. And like it or not, new terms will be introduced. Furthermore, the well- known adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, is also highly relevant. Patients aren't expected to understand medical jargon, but how do doctors ensure that those who lack basic reading skills get the right care? The patients who faced the most difficulties were “older people, black and ethnic minority groups, those with low qualifications, those without English as a first language, those with low job status and those in the poverty trap,” the research found. In other words, if clinicians overestimate patients’ understanding of medical jargon, they may be more likely to utilize jargon terms when communicating with patients. Introduce necessary information by first asking patients what they know about their condition and building on that. The use of words and phrases that people do not understand will be debated at an annual meeting of the British Medical Association’s consultants group today. When we say not to use jargon, we’re not advocating leaving out necessary technical terms, but we are saying to make sure your language is as clear as possible. Effective communication will become even more important. You'll see more focus on avoiding jargon when communicating with patients...to decrease confusion and improve care.. Medical jargon may cloud doctor-patient communication. A report by the college said that doctors often used words that were unfamiliar to patients or that patients did not fully understand. During a recent visit, a patient of Marvin M. Lipman, Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser, read from notes the patient had taken during a conversation with her cardiologist. Have patients repeat instructions back to you. Minerva’s comments on a new surgical procedure to rebuild the physiological shape and volume of the left ventricle after an anterior myocardial infarct using the KISS technique (Keep fibres orientation with Please note: your email address is provided to the journal, which may use this information for marketing purposes. Doctors should speak slowly and avoid using jargon with their patients, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has said.1, A report by the college said that doctors often used words that were unfamiliar to patients or that patients did not fully understand. Avoiding Jargon, Building Empathy Will Be Focus At New Fort Worth Medical School ... communication is designed to improve not just the health of patients but of doctors, too. “We often encourage medical students to practice explaining a medical procedure, such a colonoscopy, to a family member to see if they understand,” says Dr. Moore. The reality is, words can do harm. For example, there may not be another correct way to refer to a “brinulator valve control ring.” But that doesn’t prevent you from saying “tighten the brinulator valve control ring securely” instead of “Apply sufficient torque to the brinulator valve control ring to ensure that the control ring assembly is securely attached to the terminal such that loosening ca… What is jargon? In sum, jargon is unhelpful at best, and harmful at worst. The report said that poor skills in understanding and using health information could leave patients at a higher risk of emergency admission to hospital and of serious health conditions. But jargon is excluding when people aren’t in on what can sound like an impenetrable secret code. If they do not understand your instructions, repeat them using slightly less … Avoiding excessive medical jargon. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. 1. A few years ago, the National Cancer Institute gently reminded oncologists that not all patients had Ph.D.s in a 222-page monograph advising them, among other things, to “listen, avoid interruptions … and provide clear and jargon-free explanations” to their patients, particularly when they’re delivering a … In response to the findings, the royal college is now calling for medical jargon to be toned down, and for GPs to ensure patients fully understand their condition. patients understood that “the tumor is progressing” was bad news . A recent study published in the British Dental Journal stated that more than 30% of English speaking patients were unable to define simple medical terms such as “lesion” and “benign.” The inability to define these common medical terms shows that even when medical professionals think they are careful, they are likely causing more harm than they know.A a matter of fact, 30% of English speaking survey participants thought that a biop… ON AVOIDING JARGON. Doctors must avoid jargon when talking to patients, royal college says, www.rcgp.org.uk/news/2014/june/~/media/Files/Policy/RCGP-Health-Literacy-2014.ashx. 10.1016/j.outlook.2010.11.005. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. When we get it wrong, even a medical miracle can leave patients angry and traumatized. The key for the entire industry is to encourage the use of clear language when communicating with non-clinician colleagues as well as with members. Thirty-seven percent of jargon use occurred when making recommendations, and 29% when providing health education. Objective: To describe physicians use of jargon with diabetes patients with limited health literacy. Dr Barry Parker of the MDDUS says talking is the answer. *** Background: Delayed medical care has negative health and economic consequences; interventions have focused on appraising symptoms, with limited success in reducing delay. Research led by Gillian Rowlands of Kings College London that was highlighted in the RCGP report found that 43% of England’s working age population struggled to understand health information that contained only text. But there's no doubt that the NHS does have a problem with jargon. Medical Sciences and general terms. Imagine saying “child and adolescent mental health services” instead of the accepted abbreviation “Camhs” every time. Empathetic communication can sooth the worst outcomes. Communication is one of the most important prerequisites to good health care; providers, especially, physicians, need to be better at it. We do not capture any email address. November 2011; avoid mishaps with cough and cold medications; avoiding jargon when communicating with patients; make space on your pharmacy shelves for generic atorvastatin tabletsadd Ultram and lithium to the list of drugs involved in look-alike med errors; new combo med, Duexis (ibuprofen/famotidine, du-EX-is) for arthritis patients at risk of developing a … We look forward to working with NHS England to help shape a health system that is truly accessible to all.”. The Center for Health Care Strategies offers this brief fact sheet containing 4 quick tips for improving communication with patients. It is easy to slip into jargon without realising it, so make a conscious effort to avoid it. Progress, after all, is generally good. Staff.
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