Nancy+Midterm (1)

Nancy+Midterm (1) - Nancy xxxx xxx CPO WAY Rutgers The...

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Nancy xxxx xxx CPO WAY Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ 08901 October 17, 2007 John E. Matuska President and CEO of St. Peter’s University Hospital 254 Easton Ave. P.O. Box 591 New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Re: Revising Hospital’s Documents to Better Accommodate Patients with Low Literacy Dear Mr. Matuska, As you know, Saint Peter’s University Hospital is located in a community where there is a large population of immigrants and low income families. These members of the community are likely to not speak English and if they do, their literacy level is quite low. The low income families are likely to have low literacy skills as well. When these people visit St. Peter’s University Hospital, they receive documentations and must fill them out accordingly in order to receive services. There are brochures on health information available for them to review. Then they receive medicine directions from the doctors. They are in fact getting the appropriate services expected from a hospital. However, you must realize that a majority of the patients at your hospital may not understand the forms they filled out or what exactly to do with the directions on the prescription. They may not understand the health information on the brochures provided to them at your hospital. This is because a major group of your patients have low level of literacy. To improve the patients’ health and to cut costs at your hospital, I am proposing a project to revise documents at your hospital using simple language written on the 5 th grade level and using graphics to accommodate patients with low literacy skills. By making documents easily accessible for your patients of all literacy level, you can cut costs dramatically. This project will benefit both the patients and your hospital by improving the patients’ health and cutting costs for the hospital. When patients are healthy, there will be fewer visitations to the hospital and therefore cutting costs for the hospital. Literacy as a Problem in the New Brunswick Community Research in the health literacy community proves that there is a correlation between low literacy and the inability to navigate the health care system effectively (Zarcadoolas et al, 2006 & Nutbeam, 2000). Low literacy individuals are those who have had some experience with education and are able to perform simple tasks such as reading and writing on the very basic level. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) categorizes basic level of literacy on performing simple literacy tasks as:
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using a TV guide to find out what programs are at a specific time comparing ticket prices for two events finding in a pamphlet how people are selected for the jury pool. According to the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 14% of adults are
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Nancy+Midterm (1) - Nancy xxxx xxx CPO WAY Rutgers The...

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