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THREE RIVERS HEALTH OFFERS TIPS ON TALKING TO AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR DOCTOR

Three Rivers Health is excited to acknowledge Health Literacy Month during
October and to encourage and educate the community on how to have better communication
between patients and their physicians.
According to an article from the AARP website, nearly all of us, about nine of every 10 American
adults, have some problems with health literacy.
“This is not just about reading. It’s about understanding complicated health terms and issues. Lots of
people, including highly educated persons, have trouble understanding information about their health
care,” said Chief Executive Officer, William Russell.
Health literacy plays a role in how well:
• Someone is able to take the right medicine at the right time.
• A person with diabetes properly manages the condition.
• A parent follows instructions for helping a child recover from surgery.
Here are some tips for improving Health Literacy:
• Ask questions. Then, make sure you get and understand the answers. If you don’t understand,
ask the doctor or nurse for more information.
• Repeat information back to your doctor or nurse. After your doctor or nurse gives you directions,
repeat those instructions in your own words. Simply say, “Let me see if I understand this ….”
• Bring all your medicines to your next doctor’s visit. Ask your doctor to go over all of your drugs and
supplements, including vitamins and herbal medicines.
• Have another adult with you. This might be especially true when you expect to receive important
information.
• Let the doctor’s office know you need an interpreter if you don’t speak or understand English very
well. You have a right to an interpreter, at no cost to you.
• Make a pill card. Create a pill card to help keep track of your medicines.
For over 90 years, Three Rivers Health has offered its patients and community technology-driven
care, including a wide array of inpatient, rehabilitation, outpatient, wellness, hospice care and
specialty clinic services. To discover more about Three Rivers Health, call 269.278.1145 or visit
threerivershealth.org.

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