Health Literacy for Patients in the Age of the Internet and A.I.

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Catherine Richards Golini, PhD, a Healthcare Editor with Karger Publishers, and plain language expert, joins the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast this week for a timely chat on patient education.

We’re on a mission to improve the patient experience through all facets of care, with patient education and communication at the heart of so much of that mission.

Today’s conversation is another riveting and eye-opening chat, especially given the reliance on Google search engines and the explosion of technology in A.I. It’s no secret that patients are coming to clinics these days equipped with a lot more information versus even just three years ago.

With all of that in mind, we caught up with Dr. Golini to chat about what healthcare providers should know about health literacy in the age of the internet and rapidly expanding A.I. technologies.

As a healthcare publications editor with Karger Publishers, Dr. Golini has primarily been associated with the development of the Fast Facts for Patients suite of resources, which are focused on rare diseases and other important patient information.

She has devoted her career to patient engagement and placing patients at the heart of medical literature. She partners with patients through focus groups and advocacy groups to help create a better patient experience through education.

She even participated in a recent artificial intelligence study that she discusses toward the closing minutes of today’s podcast.

Dr. Golini is a prolific and dynamic public speaker, addressing audiences on subjects such as patient-centric care, health literacy, and crafting clear and accessible patient literature.

You can follow her here on LinkedIn:

For similar discussions on educating patients, please be sure to check out the following previously released podcast episodes from our HX Matters library:

From her background as a teacher to her transition into medical English and publishing, Dr. Golini emphasizes the significance of clear and empathetic communication in health care settings.

She reflects on her experience observing trainee nurses and radiographers, highlighting the importance of respectful and patient-centered interactions.

Throughout the discussion, Katherine addresses common pitfalls in health care communication, such as the use of jargon and assumptions about patient knowledge.

She stresses the need for professionals to actively listen to patients and communicate in a way that is easily understandable, regardless of language or literacy level.

When it comes to the impact of A.I. on health care communication, the jury is still out. While AI tools hold promise for generating plain language summaries, Dr. Golini acknowledges the challenges in ensuring consistency and accuracy across different platforms.

As the interview wraps, Dr. Golini advocates for a greater focus on health literacy education, arguing that raising health literacy standards is essential for combating misinformation and empowering patients to make informed decisions about their health.

The bottom line: there is no substitute for prioritizing clear, compassionate, and accessible communication towards patients in healthcare and that extends to patient literature and verbal interactions.

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Meet Catherine Richards Golini, PhD

Catherine Richards Golini, PhD, is a Healthcare Editor with Karger Publishers. She is a passionate patient education advocate and plain language expert

Connect with Catherine Richards Golini, PhD