American College of Physicians Foundation convenes conference

PHILADELPHIA -- (November 23, 2005) Healthcare professionals have an opportunity to learn about successful operational models that have been shown to improve health outcomes among patients with low health literacy levels. Physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, as well as leaders in professional education, business, insurance, government, and nonprofit healthcare organizations are invited to attend a one day conference on Wednesday, November 30 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., presented by the American College of Physicians (ACP) Foundation and co-sponsored by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Top experts in the fields of health literacy and health communication will gather from around the country for the 4th Annual National Health Communication Conference, 'Practical Solutions to the Problems of Low Health Literacy' to discuss programs to overcome low health literacy, and review preliminary research results about inconsistencies with prescription drug bottle labeling.

"With studies reporting patients forgetting up to 80 percent of what their medical team has told them as soon as they leave the physician's office, and nearly 50 percent of what they remember they incorrectly remember, we clearly have a major problem on our hands," said Jean Krause, CEO, ACP Foundation. "Additionally, 40 percent of the American population read below a fourth grade reading level and can't understand much of the information they are provided including how to take their prescription drugs properly."

- more - Low patient health literacy adds to the financial strain on our healthcare system and poses significant risks, as it can lead to medical errors. Low health literacy negatively impacts up to 90 million patients in the United States. The financial impact the U.S. healthcare system is estimated to be in the range of $60 to $70 billion annually. Confusion around medication dosages is prevalent in the older population. Rec

Contact: Leigh Fazzina
American College of Physicians

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