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"Health literacy needed to make health reform a reality"

That’s what HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a Kaiser Health News – Washington Post collaboration entitled, “Helping Patients Understand Their Medical Treatment.

The scene-setting lede:

“An elderly woman sent home from the hospital develops a life-threatening infection because she doesn’t understand the warning signs listed in the discharge instructions. A man flummoxed by an intake form in a doctor’s office reflexively writes “no” to every question because he doesn’t understand what is being asked. A young mother pours a drug that is supposed to be taken by mouth into her baby’s ear, perforating the eardrum. And a man in his 70s preparing for his first colonoscopy uses a suppository as directed, but without first removing it from the foil packet.”

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