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Using forms to access healthcare

Forms may present a barrier to access healthcare. However, health professionals can gather a lot of information quickly by using these forms.
There are several things that could be done to enable Mr Bell, and others in similar situations, to access the doctor.

For example:

  • The form is completed with the receptionist / nurse/ doctor
  • The form is user-friendly, i.e. short and easy to read.
  • People are encouraged to come with another person for support.
  • Mr Bell attends adult education classes and improves his reading and writing skills.

So now the question remains: how useful are forms in practice? Like many other questions, the answer is: it depends.

Forms are used to capture lots of information from people. As a way of doing just that, they can be useful. Nevertheless, for Mr Bell, and many like him, forms present a barrier to access healthcare. For health professionals they can gather a lot of information quickly, but are of most use when accurately completed.

© IMPACCT consortium
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Working with Patients with Limited Health Literacy

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