Tools for Health Literacy

Plain-Language Checklist for Creating and Reviewing Your Materials

Use this quick, 2-page checklist when creating or reviewing materials.
Click here for the PDF version

Guidelines to Effective Print Communication

New to health literacy and plain-language writing? Start with this document!
A Guide to Creating and Evaluating Patient Materials: Guidelines for Effective Print Communication
MaineHealth developed these guidelines to help health professionals communicate clearly and consistently with patients and families.
Download the MaineHealth Guidelines or call 1-866-609-5183 to ask for a copy.

MH Print Guidelines 2011 cover

In this guide, you'll find:

  • Key facts about health literacy
  • Developing patient education materials: a step-by-step approach
  • Checklist to develop and evaluate patient education materials
  • Overview of readability

 Plain Language Thesaurus

This document, by the CDC Nation Center for Health Marketing, lists plain language alternatives for hundreds of common medical terms.
Click here for the Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications

Health Literacy Tool Kit

This toolkit is designed to help practices take a systematic approach towards reducing confusion around medical care and increase health outcomes through clear communication.
Click here for the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

Teach-back Tool Kit

This tool kit helps providers learn how to use the teach-back method with patients to confirm understanding.
Click here for the Teach-back Tool Kit

Physician Experience about Learning Teach-back

The teach-back method is a way of checking understanding by asking patients to state in their own words. Listen to how this doctor incorporated the teaching method with his patients.

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