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The Department of Health and Human Services have states that only about 12 percent of Americans have proficient health literacy skills. As a result, medical professionals must use low levels of health care terminology in order for their patients to understand their own diagnosis.

In perhaps an unsurprising clue into navigating low levels of patient health literacy, new research published in JAMA Network Open found that patients have a far better understanding of their health status when their providers use jargon-free verbiage.

The analysis looked at common medical jargon that has a different, in some cases opposite, meaning in common usage. For example, telling a patient that test results are “positive,” indicating in medical terms that the patient has an illness. In laymen’s terms, “positive” can indicate that the patient is in the clear.” Via Patient Engagement Hit 

GistMD, the Tel Avivian start-up, understands that low levels of health literacy and patient engagement are associated with poor treatment outcomes, significantly extended hospital stays, higher readmission rates, and higher hospitalization costs. Based on the understanding that personalized patient education is a fundamental precondition for effective patient engagement, Gist developed a platform that enables a highly scalable production of personalized content, profoundly improving patient engagement and literacy levels.