In recognition of National Health Literacy Month, we’re highlighting a resource for health care providers that uses strategies for improving health literacy to promote safe use of medication in order to prevent adverse drug events (ADEs). Health literacy is the degree to which a person has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. A person’s health literacy influences the way they access and use health information and services.
“Learn or perish” would be an apt slogan for health systems today. The rate of change in health care is high. Technological advancements, research, innovation, and market dynamics all drive the soaring complexity of the health care system. In order to survive, health systems must learn how to adapt, and in the process – we argue – address health literacy. 

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women.

The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Using mammograms  to screen for breast cancer can help find it early when it’s easier to treat.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.…

Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) happens when a person is infected with TB bacteria, but doesn’t get active TB disease. Since people with LTBI don’t feel sick, they may not know they’re infected. But if they don’t get treatment, they can develop TB disease — and pass it to others. That’s why it’s so important for people who are at increased risk for LTBI to get tested.…

Eating fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. People who eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Fruits & Veggies — More Matters Month in September is a great time to raise awareness about the importance of eating enough fruits and vegetables.…

One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The good news? Childhood obesity can be prevented. You can help by promoting strategies to prevent childhood obesity during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September.…

Immunizations (also called vaccinations or shots) help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Immunization isn’t just for kids — adults also need to get vaccinated to stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia.

National Immunization Awareness Month in August is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.…

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently released a new draft recommendation for prostate cancer screening. The draft recommendation encourages providers to inform men ages 55 to 69 about the benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening. That way, patients can work with their providers to make a decision about screening that’s right for them.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends lung cancer screening for older adults who are current or former heavy smokers and would be willing to have surgery if cancer were found. Screening can save lives, but is not risk free. In addition to exposure of radiation, 35.6% of those screened will have a false alarm and 1.8 percent will have a needless invasive procedure (e.g., a biopsy). As a primary care physician, you’ll want to help your patients make what may be a tough decision.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, but there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries. During National Safety Month, spread the word about ways to reduce the risk of injuries and encourage communities, workplaces, families, and individuals to identify and report safety hazards.…