Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
This purpose of this quality improvement project was to develop an educational training curriculum designed for staff nurses to use the teach-back method with patients with low health literacy during discharge instructions. Health literacy is associated with the ability to read, comprehend, and make appropriate healthcare decisions; the teach-back method asks patients to restate or explain health information in their own words, aiding retention and literacy. Effective staff education plays a critical role in the education of patients during discharge teaching: Nurses must help to ensure that patients and their families understand healthcare information and apply this information in their daily lives. The program was planned in an ambulatory care setting and used conceptual frameworks including the Iowa model and the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle for quality improvement. The program was informed by evidence in the peer-reviewed literature. The curriculum was contextualized by needs of the care setting. The evidence was organized and analyzed using a review matrix to identify common findings among major studies that were applicable to the context. As an aid to operationalization of the program, an implementation plan and an evaluation plan were developed for use by the institution to move the program forward without additional planning. This project may effect positive social change by addressing a health care need that exists throughout the population and is prevalent in those of lower socioeconomic status. Increasing health literacy among patients is likely to promote improved health outcomes among those who are most vulnerable to illness.