Ask questions for better care

Did you know that nearly one out of every two adults in the U.S. has trouble understanding health information?

The ability to read, understand and act upon health information is called health literacy.

Health literacy is not just about reading skills, and it can be a problem for anyone regardless of their education or economic level.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center has joined forces with the Partnership for Clear Health Communication to help PeaceHealth Southwest's guests improve their health literacy skills through a new program called Ask Me 3.

The Ask Me 3 program does not cost you anything and is easy to follow. Ask Me 3 is a simple set of questions that you should ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist at every visit. The questions are:
  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important for me to do this?
Ask these three questions and be sure you understand the answers your doctor, nurse or pharmacist gives you. If you do not understand the answers, ask him or her to explain the information again. Don't be shy – your doctor, nurse or pharmacist want to help you understand your medical conditions and treatment instructions.

Why PeaceHealth Southwest supports the Ask Me 3 program

Research has shown that improving health literacy skills also may improve a person's health. How? If a person understands his or her medical condition and treatment, he or she is more likely to follow the doctor's instructions and get better sooner with fewer complications.

Not only does this lower our health care costs but, more importantly, helps our patients lead healthier lives.

For more information about the Ask Me 3 program, ask your nurse or caregiver, or visit the Ask Me 3 web site.