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Family & Community Medicine Resources: Patient Education

Readability and Health Literacy Assessment Tools


Guidelines for Developing Easy-to-Read Materials

Communicate Health blog
Guidelines for Creating Materials 
  • Free online resource
Assessing and Developing Health Materials 
  • Free online resource
Words to Watch 
  • Free online resource
Word Suggestions 
  • Free online resource
Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites
MedlinePlus - How to Write Easy-to-Read Health Materials
Simply Put: A Guide for Creating Easy to Understand Materials
Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communication
National Institute on Aging - Making your printed health materials senior-friendly


Tips for Patient Education

Oral Communication Best Practice

  • Communication is 2-way
  • Use 'teach back' when giving instruction
  • Avoid medical Jargon
  • Use commonly understood words
  • Limit information to 2-3 key messages
  • Use MedlinePlus videos
  • At the end of your patient education encounter, ask the patient what question they have about using MedlinePlus, other resource, or their condition. It is important to use the phrase "What questions do you have" as opposed to "do you have any questions" to avoid setting yourself up for a 'yes' or 'no' answer. 
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