Health Communication Trainings and Consultations

Presentations, trainings and consultations are available in the areas of health information, health literacy, and health communication, and can be customized to fit a variety of audiences, time constraints, learning styles, and areas of interest.

Health Information

In the information age, patients are learning to take control of their own health. Google and other online tools have made health information readily available to most of the public. According to data from Pew, 59%1 of adults have looked up health information online within the past year. Patient-appropriate and credible health information is available, but it isn’t always easy to find.

Trainings and consultations covering the following learning goals can help you navigate this patient environment.

  • Evaluating existing print and web-based consumer health information for patients
  • Locating reliable resources for patients written at an appropriate reading level
  • Identifying information for consumers and patients on specific health topics

Health Literacy

More than 36 percent of adults have limited health literacy. Limited health literacy is linked to increased medication errors, poorer health outcomes and higher health care costs.

Trainings and consultations covering the following learning goals can help you avoid negative outcomes associated with limited health literacy.

  • Define and understand the impact of health literacy
  • Explore the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes
  • Understand factors that affect health literacy (culture, age, health system structure)
  • Review evaluation strategies and tools for print and online health materials
  • Describe the drawbacks and advantages in using health literacy assessment tools such as TOFHLA and REALM
  • Apply Federal Plain Language Principles (both oral and written)
  • Identify ways to simplify consent forms and education materials

Health Communication

Communication is more than what we write and what we say. Clear communication strategies can enhance everyday encounters and improve relationships with patients and their families.

Trainings and consultations covering the following learning goals can help you improve your health communication skills.

  • Recognize factors that affect clear communication with patients (e.g. health literacy and culture)
  • Review and practice basic communication skills such as providing feedback, listening, nonverbal communication, and minimizing barriers
  • Apply empathic responding and understand empathy’s role in healthcare
  • Identify models of patient-provider communication
  • Practice techniques for effective communication with patients
  • Discuss health-related numeracy and appropriate assessment strategies
  • Explore strategies to simplify numeric information for patients

Customize Your Training or Consultation

Becker Library staff can provide:

  • Reliable consumer health resources related to specific diseases or conditions
  • Tools to address the impact of limited health literacy
  • Skills to help overcome linguistic barriers
  • Consult with you to improve consent forms and educational materials for patients
  • Small group training on health literacy tools for departments, groups of residents, etc.
  • Presentations on listening skills for graduate students or other groups

Presentations, trainings and consultations can be made to fit within your time constraints and to meet the needs of different audiences, including physicians, nurses, residents and fellows, researchers, students, and staff.

A variety of training formats are available according to your needs. Some options include brown bags, selective courses, and trainings in large-group, small-group or one-on-one settings. Instruction can also be tailored to different learning styles using formats such as lecture, hands-on training, case studies, and role-playing.

Contact Mychal Voorhees at 314-362-4734 or to discuss options or schedule a consultation.



  1. Health Online 2013. PEW.