Berlin - Patients who received patient letter after being discharged from the hospital feel better supported and understand their illness and treatment better. This is shown by the results of the pilot study “More health literacy through patient letters”, which was presented today as part of the “Mit. Security. Together. ”Of the Federal Ministry of Health () in the lecture hall ruins that were presented.
Particularly with regard to the intake of medication, the patients stated significantly more often that they had received very understandable explanations about the type of medication intake. This could have positive effect on therapy compliance and health literacy overall, said Ansgar Jonietz, managing director of the non-profit company "".
The startup developed the discharge documents that laymen can understand and tested their use between November 2015 and April 2018. As part of the study, patients from the internal medicine department of the Paracelsus Clinic in Bad Ems received patient's letter in addition to the doctor's letter, which contained easily understandable information about the clinical picture, the examinations, treatments and the medication plan.
In addition to one The results also show that patients with patient letter felt that they were treated more considerately in the hospital and that they recommended the clinic more frequently after discharge. The patient letters were also read by almost all patients and in many cases by relatives.
Thomas Gebhardt, Parliamentary State Secretary of the BMG, emphasized that patient-friendly communication is crucial in order to increase health literacy and thus also patient safety. Patient safety is everyone's job, says Gebhardt. It can only succeed through the joint efforts of doctors and patients.
In the future, the project should be used across the board and be available to all patients. The option of multilingual patient letter and digital version and expansion to other target groups are also being considered. In follow-up project that will start in the coming days, the automatic creation of patient letters will also be tested.
"What do I have?" Has been offering patient service for the "translation" of doctor's letters since 2011. Patients can upload their findings anonymously to the portal and receive an easy-to-understand version of the doctor's letter free of charge. The formulation is carried out by medical students in higher semesters and doctors. 40,000 reports have been translated since the website was launched.