Abstract WP398: Can a Shorter, Colorful Education Book Improve Stroke Patient Satisfaction Scores?

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Stroke patients need written information on how to recognize and prevent a secondary stroke. Limited health literacy is associated with medication errors and a lack of knowledge for chronic health conditions. Written communication needs to be inviting and understood by the largest population possible. At University Hospitals Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center (UHCSCC) the education book, “HOPE, A Stroke Recovery Guide” from the National Stroke Association has been given to patients for many years. It is 66 pages long, black and white print with very few pictures. Patients in the acute hospital setting describe it as overwhelming. The purpose of this project is to assess any impact on stroke patient satisfaction scores at UHCSCC using a new education book. Using the principles of health literacy, a group of physicians, nurses, and a pharmacist collaborated to develop a hospital branded stroke education book. Health Literacy Advisor software was used to assess readability and suggest plain language alternatives. The format was presented in chunks of information using bullet points on 21 pages and many colored pictures. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey, the national, standardized publicly reported survey of patients’ perspective on hospital care, was used to evaluate any impact of the new education material. Four questions on the HCAHPS survey were used: “How often did nurses explain things in a way you understand?” “How often did doctors explain things in a way you understand?” “Did you understand the purpose of taking your medicines? “Before giving you any new medicine, how often did the hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?” Reviewing responses over a 12 month period, the top box percentages for all four questions increased after the introduction of the new book. Nurses’ explanations score increased 5.5%. Doctors’ explanations score increased 5.3%. Understanding purpose of medications score increased 15.2% and Explanations for a new medication score increased 2.7%. Publicly reporting of HCAHPS results creates incentives for the hospitals to improve quality of care. At UHCSCC stroke patient satisfaction scores improved with introduction of new shorter, colorful education book.

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