Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality
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Health Literacy and Consumer Roles in Health Care Quality. Judith Hibbard University of Oregon Presented at the Wisconsin Health Policy Forum June 16, 2004. Current health policy aims to strengthen the role of consumers in health care.

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Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

Health Literacy and Consumer Roles in Health Care Quality

Judith HibbardUniversity of Oregon

Presented at the Wisconsin Health Policy Forum

June 16, 2004


Current health policy aims to strengthen the role of consumers in health care

Current health policy aims to strengthen the role of consumers in health care.

There is a growing recognition that our ability to control costs and improve quality will require an effective partnership with informed and engaged consumers.


Roles for patients and consumers

Roles for Patients and Consumers

  • Informed choice Role

    • Using performance information to choose providers

    • Selecting cost-effective evidenced based treatments

  • Co-producer

    • Self-care

    • Preventive actions

    • Collaborating with providers

    • Vigilant partner in assuring health care safety

  • Evaluator

    • Source of data on provider performance

    • Help to define the parameters of quality care


Virtuous cycle

Virtuous Cycle

  • When consumers take on these three roles they likely:

    • Get better care for themselves and

    • Contribute to mechanisms that improve the quality of care for everyone


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

With an aging population and the increased rates of chronic illness there is an urgent need to support patients in these three roles.

Informed and activated patients represent a tremendous untapped resource within the health care arena

It is a resource we can no longer afford to leave untapped


Making choices in health care is complex requiring higher levels of health literacy

Making choices in health care is complex-- requiring higher levels of health literacy

  • Ultimately we want information to be used to inform choices.

    • Comprehend information

    • Be motivated to use it

    • Be able to information into choices.


Low literacy medicare beneficiaries would rather delegate decisions

Low literacy Medicare beneficiaries would rather delegate decisions

Literacy:


Low literacy medicare beneficiaries find decisions worrisome

Low literacy Medicare beneficiaries find decisions worrisome.

Literacy:


Using comparative performance reports are

Using comparative performance reports are:

  • Difficult to understand

  • Too much information to process

  • Difficult to bring together into a choice


Stroke non hemorrhagic

Stroke – Non-Hemorrhagic

Significantly higher than expected, Not significantly different than expected, Significantly lower than expected


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

Getting needed carePercent of members who said they had no problem obtaining a personal doctor they like, a referral to see a specialist, necessary care, or timely approvals of care:


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

WorseBetter

Overall Quality of Care and ServicesPercentage of patients reporting very good or excellent

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Literacy and ability to interpret the information

Literacy and ability to interpret the Information

Literacy:


What do people do when faced with this degree of complexity

What do people do when faced with this degree of complexity?

  • Reduces their motivation

  • Increases the odds they will stay with status quo if that is an option

  • Take short cuts– may leave out important factors


What can we do to help consumers make better decisions

What can we do to help consumers make better decisions?

  • Make information more evaluable

    • Summarize

    • Interpret

    • Do much of the cognitive work for the viewer


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

What the symbols mean:

Fewer mistakes, complications and deaths than expected

Average number of mistakes, complications and deaths

More mistakes, complications and deaths than expected


With an evaluable performance report

With An Evaluable Performance Report

  • Consumers more likely to note differences

  • Remember high and low performers

  • Talk to others

  • Make recommendations based on report

  • ….contributing to the virtuous cycle


Treatment choices what else supports good decision making

Treatment choices:What else supports good decision-making?

  • Highlight factors that are often overlooked

    • Framing

    • Vividness

  • Help people to understand what it might feel like to live with a choice

    • Narratives


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

Decision support tools

Easier to use.

Information intermediary

  • Comprehension/ interpretation

  • Motivation

  • Relative valuing of information

Evaluability

Moves person closer to actual experience.

Narratives

Vividness

Highlights meaning.

Framing

The information is weighted and used in choice.


Roles for patients and consumers1

Roles for Patients and Consumers

  • Informed Choice Role

    • Using performance information to choose providers

    • Selecting cost-effective evidenced based treatments

  • Co-producer

    • Self-care

    • Preventive actions

    • Collaborating with providers

    • Vigilant partner in assuring health care safety

  • Evaluator

    • Source of data on provider performance

    • Help to define the parameters of quality care


Co producer role

Co-Producer Role

  • Demands of co-producer role are different than informed choice–

    • still must use information.

    • requires more day to day living and coping skills

  • Patients need support and encouragement from their providers


When it comes to chronic disease the patient is the captain of the ship

When it comes to chronic disease the patient is the “Captain of the Ship”

  • To be a “captain” or even a partner in care patients need to have the necessary:

    • Knowledge

    • Skills

    • Confidence


Health literacy necessary for co producer role

Health literacy necessary for co-producer role.

Literacy:


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

Literacy:


Assessing patients capability should be part of the vital signs taken at a visit

Assessing patients’ capability should be part of the “vital signs” taken at a visit

  • Does the patient understand? Does he/she have the skills and confidence necessary to self-manage?

  • Patients who are getting good care should, overtime be gaining in their ability to self-manage

  • Capability to self-manage is an intermediate outcome of care that should be tracked.


If it is important then we should be measuring it the patient activation measure pam

If it is important then we should be measuring it! The Patient Activation Measure (PAM)

  • Assesses the degree to which patients have the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their condition and to interact effectively with their providers

  • The measure is a uni-dimensional, interval level, Guttman-like scale

  • The measure is developmental with 4 stages


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

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Tailoring care plans to individual patient s capabilities would likely yield better results

Tailoring care plans to individual patient’s capabilities would likely yield better results.

  • Providers could then be more targeted in their education and support for patients

  • When patients are told to take actions they are not capable of, they are more likely to do nothing than if they are given a goal that they can reasonably meet.


Measuring patient activation for qi

Measuring Patient Activation for QI

  • Processes measures:Are the processes in place to support patient activation?

  • Outcomes measures:Are patients becoming more activated over time?


Supporting the co producer role

Supporting the Co-producer Role

  • Measurement is the first necessary step

  • Identify interventions that help patients at different levels of activation is the next step

  • We are currently at square one– have a steep learning curve ahead.


Roles for patients and consumers2

Roles for Patients and Consumers

  • Informed choice Role

    • Using performance information to choose providers

    • Selecting cost-effective evidenced based treatments

  • Co-producer

    • Self-care

    • Preventive actions

    • Collaborating with providers

    • Vigilant partner in assuring health care safety

  • Evaluator

    • Source of data on provider performance

    • Help to define the parameters of quality care


Evaluator role

Evaluator Role

  • Bring consumers along in the wider discussion quality gaps and possibilities (what does good care look like?)

  • Encourage patient involvement in defining elements of quality

  • Expand to all areas of care

  • Use patient assessments as a basis for QI


Health literacy and consumer roles in health care quality

Providers, delivery systems, and purchasers can do much to support and reinforce these roles for consumers.

  • Making the use of information easier

  • Sanctioning and modeling the use of outcomes and performance data for informing health care choices

  • Measuring patient activation and literacy as part of the vital signs taken during a visit

  • Measuring and reporting on how well providers are supporting patients in their co-producer role

  • Making wider use of consumers in defining and measuring quality in all areas of care.


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