Streamlined editing adds momentum

Steps in place from merging to clinical check

On average, every three weeks five to 15 new documents are added to a web site that features foreign language patient education materials. This number is far more than the partners in this project could each produce annually alone.

The volume is generated by the production of easy-to-read English version documents that are drafted by project assistant, Angie Barnes, and then translated into foreign languages.

"Having Angie onboard has really helped take some of the load off us. She has learned a lot in the past year getting very good at drafting materials that are more easy to read and learning how to do readability scores on material," says Diane C. Moyer, MS, RN, consumer health education manager at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.

Partner BJ Wingert, MS, RN, patient education specialist at OhioHealth in Columbus agrees.

"We got momentum when Angie came on board as our assistant. She merges what we have on a topic and then hands it to one of us. In the beginning we were all looking at it but now one of us does a first draft through and cuts it more," she explains.

The third partner in the project is Karen Guthrie, MS, RN, patient education specialist at Mount Carmel Health in Columbus.

Barnes says when she merges the information in the documents she works to keep important points. Her method includes an 80/20 rule when culling what to leave in and what to take out. In other words, she looks for what product or method is used 80% of the time. In this way institution-specific information is eliminated.

Material that has been merged and edited by one of the patient education coordinators is taken to the monthly meetings for final editing. "The editing is more how to word something to make it easy for a layperson to understand," says Barnes.

During the meeting the partners identify an expert to review the copy before it is sent to the translation service.

Once translated Barnes receives the copy in a Word and PDF file and loads it on the web site.

"At the moment it is usually a 15 day turnaround from the moment we send it to be translated and get it on-line," says Barnes.

In addition to the material on the web site there are currently about 120 documents at some point in the editing process.


For more information about the project to improve the overall health of limited English proficiency patients through the distribution of translated materials, contact:

  • Karen Guthrie, MS, RN, patient education specialist, Mount Carmel Health, 5975 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43213. Phone: (614) 234-6062. E-mail:

For additional information about the editing process, contact:

  • Angela Barnes, project assistant, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 1375 Perry St., Rm 524, Columbus, OH 43201. Phone: (614) 293-9654. E-mail: surgery and treatments.