Health Literacy Facilitates Workshop in Collaboration with Tandigm Health

March 30, 2023

On March 10, HCIF facilitated a train-the-trainer workshop titled “Advancing Health Equity: Providing Care in a Health Literate Way” for Tandigm Health in Conshohocken, PA. The workshop was led in-person by HCIF’s Health Literacy consultants and long-term subject matter experts, Rickie Brawer, PhD, MCHES, MPH, and James Plumb, MD, MPH.

Dr. Rickie Brawer & Dr. James Plumb have both been intimately involved with the founding, development, and leadership of Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition (PAHLC)* since its inception in 2010. You can read more about their work in their respective partner profiles here.


The agenda included background on health literacy, oral & written communication strategies, considerations for web-based materials, and special topics including considerations for serving clients who speak other languages, telehealth, as well as reducing bias in electronic health records.

The trainers shared data from multiple studies to explain why health literacy is important, for example, research has shown that 40-80% of the medical information, which patients are told during office visits, is immediately forgotten.

1. Anderson JL, Dodman S, Kopelman M, Fleming A. Patient information recall in a rheumatology clinic. Rheumatol Rehabil. 1979;18(1):18-22.
2. Kessels RP. Patients’ memory for medical information. J R Soc Med. 2003;96(5):219-222

Another recent study on patient accuracy in understanding common medical phrases (Gotlieb et al. 2022) was also utilized to teach how strategies, such as universal precautions approach, plain language, and teach-back could be helpful in advancing health equity through health literacy.

Gotlieb, R., Praska, C., Hendrickson, M. A., Marmet, J., Charpentier, V., Hause, E., Allen, K. A., Lunos, S., & Pitt, M. B. (2022). Accuracy in Patient Understanding of Common Medical Phrases. JAMA network open, 5(11), e2242972. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.42972

This full day workshop served as part II of the training series, followed by the initial 1.5-hour training session where the participants were oriented on the overall problem of low health literacy and its implications in Pennsylvania. The multidisciplinary team of Tandigm Health made the workshop successful through their attendance, meaningful interaction, and engagement.


*The Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition is an initiative of the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF), funded by a Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH). If you would like to learn more about this regional health literacy initiative, please visit the PAHLC website.

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