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Health Literacy Month: Get info from the right sources - Minot Daily News

Author: Minot Daily News

Source: https://www.minotdailynews.com/news/local-news/2023/10/health-literacy-month-get-info-from-the-right-sources/

Image of Health Literacy Month: Get info from the right sources - Minot Daily News

Submitted Photo Health literacy experts say providers should learn tips such as using plain language and encouraging questions to make sure patients understand what they are being told.Photo from Adobe Stock.October is Health Literacy Month, and a North Dakota official says there are key things you can do to ensure you’re getting the right information to live a healthier life.This time of year is meant to help providers do a better job of getting information across to patients.But leaders say health service customers can do their part, too.Stephanie Welsh, administrator with the Cavalier County Health District in the northeastern part of the state, said coming out of the pandemic, awareness month serves as a good reminder for people to consider the sources they’re using for health information, and she stressed finding out whether they’re credible, non-biased institutions that rely on scientific data. “We have more information at our fingertips than ever before and, unfortunately, some of that is misinformation and disinformation,” she said.Welsh added the well-documented public debate over COVID-19 vaccines is a good example of how faulty information through social media can impact a person’s mindset.Beyond primary-care doctors, she said well-known health systems, such as Mayo Clinic, are good places to turn to, and said when looking at research, finding out if a study has been peer-reviewed can go a long way in knowing if the data is reliable.As for navigating insurance providers and health-care systems, Welsh says you shouldn’t feel intimidated to try to learn how they work.“Whether it’s your local hospital, your clinic, your pharmacy or your long-term care facility, or if you have a social services agency that’s local – those local names and faces – they’re there to help you and they’ll do a good job in helping you find the answers you need,” she said. As for personal health, Welsh recommends learning more about preventive care and added not only does it help defend against infectious diseases such as COVID, but it also prevents chronic illnesses that can have a big impact on quality of life.NewsletterToday's breaking news and more in your inbox

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