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Facilitating Patient Understanding of Discharge Instructions: Workshop Summary

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The Roundtable on Health Literacy brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations, and associations and representatives of patient and consumer interests who work to improve health literacy. To achieve its mission, the roundtable discusses challenges facing health literacy practice and research and identifies approaches to promote health literacy through mechanisms and partnerships in both the public and private sectors.

To explore the aspects of health literacy that impact the ability of patients to understand and follow discharge instructions and to learn from examples of how discharge instructions can be written to improve patient understanding of-and hence compliance with-discharge instructions, the Roundtable on Health Literacy held a public workshop. The workshop featured presentations and discussions that examined the implications of health literacy for discharge instructions for both ambulatory and inpatient facilities. Facilitating Patient Understanding of Discharge Instructions summarizes the presentations and discussions of the workshop. This report gives an overview of the impact of discharge instructions on outcomes, and discusses the specifics of inpatient discharge summaries and outpatient after-visit summaries. The report also contains case studies illustrating different approaches to improving discharge instructions.


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 2014. Facilitating Patient Understanding of Discharge Instructions: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

76 pages |6 x 9
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-30738-3
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-30741-3

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