Resources for producing clear language documents

Many resources are available to help patient education managers produce clear, readable patient handouts. To write documents in plain language Doug Seubert, guideline editor in Quality Improvement and Care Management at Marshfield (WI) Clinic frequently uses the following resources:

• Plain Language

http://www.plainlanguage.gov/

• The Health Literacy Style Manual

http://coveringkidsandfamilies.org/ resources/docs/stylemanual.pdf

• Simply Put (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/simpput.pdf

• Principles for Clear Health Communication (Pfizer)

http://www.ihconline.org/toolkits/HealthLiteracy/PPForClearHealthCommunication.pdf

• Writing and Designing Print Materials for Beneficiaries: A Guide for State Medicaid Agencies. Baltimore, MD: Health Care Financing Administration, Center for Medicaid and State Operations. HCFA Publication Number 10145. October 1999.

• Readability Toolkit (Group Health Center for Health Studies)

http://www.uams.edu/irb/PRISMReadabilityToolkit_ThirdEdv3_042908.pdf

ALTERNATIVE WORD LISTS

• Simple Words and Phrases (PlainLanguage.gov)

http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/wordsuggestions/simplewords.cfm

• Words to Watch (Partnership for Clear Health Communication)

http://www.npsf.org/askme3/pdfs/words_to_watch.pdf.