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Not being able to understand healthcare information affects more people in the U.S. than diabetes, obesity, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined.
Imagine needing health care in another country where they speak a language you don’t understand. How would you know if there was a problem? Could you follow the doctor’s instructions? In fact, this may not be so different from what you experience when you visit your doctor now. If you have ever been confused about or don’t understand your doctor’s directions, you’re not alone.
The issue is called “health literacy,” and it refers to your ability to read, understand, and act on health information. Do you understand the directions on your pill bottle? Could you explain your condition to a child? If you leave your healthcare provider’s office without fully understanding instructions you were given, you are more likely to have medication errors, end up in the hospital, and have a higher level of sickness.
Discover the health benefits of gardening from growing nutritious food to staying active and clearing your mind while planting, weeding, and watering.
Be an active member of your own healthcare team. Consider the following tips: Write down questions for your healthcare provider before your visit, and be sure to ask them during the visit. Bring a “health history” list with you, and keep it up to date …
If you use multiple pharmacies to fill prescriptions, you may be more likely to make errors with taking medications correctly. Creating a “pharmacy home” to fill all of your prescriptions can help simplify your medication routine …