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Studio Health visited the Dermatology team at King’s College Hospital in South London this year, to lead a workshop about Health Literacy, and how it relates to their field. Invited by Dr Sarah Walsh, a Consultant Dermatologist and Clinical Lead for Dermatology at King’s, the workshop included twenty members of the Dermatology department team and several colleagues from the Pathology department. The Dermatology team provides a comprehensive service for adults and children with skin problems. In addition to the general skin clinic, there are specialised clinics for early diagnosis and management of skin cancer, mole checks, children’s dermatology and more.

Studio Health introduced the teams to the main concepts of Health Literacy, highlighting the prevalence of low literacy rates among patients. Importantly, offered suggestions for how techniques might be effectively implemented within the Dermatology Department. Studio Health presented evidenced-based information from a variety of literature resources about challenges in Health Literacy specific to Dermatology. For example, many patients find dermatological health information to be overly complex yet feel too embarrassed to tell their pharmacist if they do not understand how and when to take their medication. The teams shared their challenges which led to a dynamic discussion where Studio Health was able to equip health practitioners with an improved understanding of how to deal with patients with low health literacy in the future.

Prior to the workshop, Studio Health recommended that Dr Walsh rephrased a typical question “Do you have any questions?” with “What questions do you have for me?”. Having implemented this technique in roughly 75% of meetings, Dr Walsh reported that it is “remarkable what comes up in the discussions”, including “misconceptions about the information that you think you have conveyed to the patients”.

Improving patient communication is a complex challenge, especially when dealing with dermatological medicines. However, implementation of health literacy strategies and tactics can have a positive and lasting impact. It was a great privilege to meet the teams at King’s and to see how passionate they are about working towards better Health Literacy for their patients. Studio Health was delighted to read about the workshop online when mentioned by Adrian Chiles in his Guardian column.

Learn more about booking a bespoke workshop for you and your team with Studio Health here.