Health Literacy in Transitions of Care: An Innovative Objective Structured Clinical Examination for Fourth-Year Medical Students in an Internship Preparation Course

Kimberly Bloom-Feshbach, Dana Casey, Lucy Schulson, Peter Gliatto, Jonathan Giftos, Reena Karani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Low health literacy is associated with adverse health outcomes, especially during transitions of care. Competency-based assessments may improve communication during this time. Aim: To develop an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for medical students to demonstrate communication skills to be used during the hospital discharge process with patients of low health literacy. Setting: The OSCE was integrated into the curriculum of an internship preparatory clerkship. Participants: One hundred and one fourth-year medical students participated. Program Description: Students received a skills-based health literacy workshop. In the OSCE, learners counseled standardized patients regarding initiation of anticoagulation at discharge and wrote discharge instructions. Program Evaluation: Fifty-seven students completed the workshop prior to the OSCE, and 44 participated in the workshop after the completing the OSCE. Participants who completed the workshop first outperformed their peers on the checklist (15.1 vs. 13.4, p < 0.0001) and on the reading level of their written instructions (9.9 vs. 10.6, p = 0.01); 82% felt confident communicating with patients of low health literacy after the workshop and OSCE. Discussion: This OSCE is a tool to train and evaluate future interns’ ability to communicate with patients of limited health literacy levels at hospital discharge. Such innovations may make this period of time safer for patients, improving health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-246
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • OSCE
  • health literacy
  • medical student
  • transitions

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