What if we treated substandard *info* like substandard drugs? (Riff on an IOM report)

Major typo fix, 3:23pm – “they’re giving” is not same as “they’re given”! Sorry.

This note arrived today from the Institute of Medicine. I’m in DC at the moment, at a big briefing by the Health Affairs policy journal about patient engagement, and a key issue keeps coming up: the problems that happen when patients don’t understand info they’re giving given.

And I keep thinking, in any other industry, you have to FIX unclear communication. So to me ineffective literature (instructions, signs, etc) are A MEDICAL PROBLEM, just like ineffective drugs … we know that because speakers here keep talking about the problems result when info isn’t received successfully.

So read this excerpt and tilt it to be about instructions that don’t work:
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[snip] “Countering the Problem of Falsified and Substandard Drugs,” a new report from the Institute of Medicine, recommends steps to improve the capacity of the United States and other nations to discover fake or subpar products and close gaps that allow products to be falsified or diluted.
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Imagine if we applied the IOM’s substantial resources to discover subpar instructions and close gaps that allow them to exist!

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Comments

2 Responses to “What if we treated substandard *info* like substandard drugs? (Riff on an IOM report)”

  1. I would hope that moral suasion would be enough, but that seems to be insufficient.

    We need a suitably “big stick” to drive up quality in health information given to patients. The certain threat of FDA regulation of EHRs and PHRs, i.e., as a medical device, is an incentive for improvement and a real forcing-function if enacted. Similarly, there may be class action suits against those who deliver information that cannot be understood.

  2. Nora Miller says:

    How’s this?

    “Countering the Problem of Poorly Written and Substandard Treatment Instructions” recommends steps to improve the capacity of the United States and other nations to adapt treatment instructions to ensure that patients fully understand their role in their own treatment to close the gaps that result in unintentional noncompliance and suboptimal outcomes.

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