January 10, 2011

Because everyone needs a little help when it comes to healthcare

So, I just finished my second month as Health Literacy Specialist VISTA at the Literacy Coalition! I already take pleasure in looking back and assessing all I've learned about literacy in the healthcare setting over just a couple of months. One of the biggest surprises so far has been finding out that even I underestimated the health resources available to me before my days at The Coalition. My wake-up call came in the form of my first beast of an undertaking with the LCCT: the 2011 Healthcare Resource Directory.

As mundane as updating hundreds of addresses and phone numbers may be, the reward at the end of it all is pretty substantial. For those of you who have never used our directory, it can be best described as a consolidation of information on all of the low-cost clinics, hospitals, specialty health services, and healthcare benefits programs available to Central Texans and their families. It’s designed to be used by professionals in healthcare, social services, adult education… whoever has access to populations at risk for low health literacy. Those professionals are in a prime spot to be valuable resources to patients through personal referrals. The new and improved 3rd edition of The Directory will contain all of the helpful information the 2nd did last year, with the addition of a new chapter dedicated to healthcare navigation and patient resources. This chapter will list services Central Texans need to fill out their health benefits applications, get to their appointments, coordinate their medications and treatments, get legal advice about their healthcare, and more. The latest edition will also include a handy index, expanded glossary, and a few other tricks to help users find the information they need, fast.

I once thought that the right motivation and total access to pretty much every imaginable piece of information every person has ever documented (A.K.A. the Internet) would be more than enough to equip me for making simple health decisions. Turns out... Not so much. Having access to everything doesn’t always mean finding what you need. With The Directory, we try to fill that gap between information access and actual comprehension. We do all the sifting and sorting so that you can skip a few headaches and help more people. Cool, huh?

The 2011 Healthcare Resource Directory is set to roll out in early February, so e-mail me at lobar@willread.org A.S.A.P. to reserve your organization’s copy!

No comments:

Post a Comment