Patient Safety Tool: "Words to Watch" Fact Sheet to Improve Health Literacy

The National Patient Safety Foundation offers a free, downloadable fact sheet that lists "words to watch" so as to avoid patient confusion and maintain health literacy.

NPSF lists "words to watch" under four categories (medical words, concept words, category words and value judgment words) with accompanying replacement words or phrases. For instance, NPSF suggests healthcare providers replace the word "dysfunction" with the word "problem" or the word "benign" with the phrase "is not cancer."

Download the "words to watch" fact sheet (PDF) for use by your facility.

Note: View our database providing reports that link to free, downloadable and adaptable tools for use in hospitals, surgery centers and other organizations by clicking here.

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