Patient Education and Health Literacy

Empowering patients and families to partner fully in their care

Consultations with Blum Center to Improve Patient Education Efforts

Producing patient education materials in plain language has been established as a best practice for years, with special recognition with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Yet, ensuring that materials comply with plain language principles can be very challenging.

There are health education experts at the Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center (Blum Center) at Mass General located in the White Building, 1st Floor, Room 110 (top of the staircase leading to Eat Street Café).  These experts  help identify and provide health education materials that adhere to plain language principles and are available at no cost to assist employees, patients, and visitors in finding trustworthy patient education materials. 

Upon request, Blum Center health education experts can also provide a comprehensive report to MGH professionals with suggestions for how to improve a given material’s formatting, content, and overall messaging.  All that is needed is a consultation request form be submitted along with the material to be reviewed.

Creating materials in plain language is a skill that utilizes current cognitive theory and is based in a body of empirical evidence.  Blum Center experts use standardized tools including the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) and the Fry Readability Formula to assess a material for plain language, and subsequently, its likely efficacy for patient education, before and after suggested revisions.

For more information about Plain Language Consultation or other services provided by the Blum Center team, contact the Blum Center at (617) 724-7352 or through email