Reading, Writing and Arrhythmias

OAKBROOK TERRACE and OAKBROOK, Ill. – March 28, 2006) Low health literacy is irrefutably linked to unsafe and inefficient care, poor outcomes and increased costs. Studies show that nearly half of the adults living in the United States lack the literacy skills to effectively manage their personal health care. As a result, many of these adults do not receive the care they need.

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This challenging public health problem for both health care professionals and consumers will be the focus of a national symposium sponsored by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Joint Commission Resources, an affiliate of the Joint Commission. Health Literacy: The Foundation for Patient Safety, Empowerment, and Quality Health Care will be held June 26-27 at the Hotel Sofitel Chicago O’Hare.

Low health literacy is so pervasive in America that it presents a significant threat to patient safety. Factor in the growing number of people who must manage one or more chronic health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, and the impact of this issue is potentially profound. Low health literacy is especially a problem for the elderly and for minority Americans. Key issues that will be addressed at this national gathering of health care leaders include:

 

How low health literacy is linked to unsafe care and poor patient outcomes, increased costs and inefficient care;


Tools and techniques that can be used overcome the challenge of low health literacy when communicating complex medical information;


Models for achieving shared medical decision-making and truly informed consent;


Strategies to address low health literacy in the care of people with chronic illnesses;


The critical role cultural competency has in the delivery of high-quality, effective health care; and


New methods for enhancing patient abilities to navigate the health care setting – as well as the “system.”

The health literacy symposium is one of a series of Joint Commission conferences addressing major public policy issues in health care. As part of its public policy initiative, the Joint Commission recently focused on the nursing shortage, organ donation and medical malpractice – critical areas that are adversely affecting the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission brings together health care experts to discuss issues of greatest concern, identify workable solutions and assign specific accountabilities for action. The Joint Commission expects to issue a white paper on health literacy later this year.

Cost of the health literacy conference is $775, with discounts available for multiple participants from the same organization. The cost is $675 for participants who register at least 30 days in advance. For information, please click here or call 877-223-6866.

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Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 8,200 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,800other health care organizations that provide long term care, assisted living, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated delivery networks, and other managed care entities. In addition, the Joint Commission provides certification of disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about the Joint Commission at www.jcaho.org.