Improvements in Quality Care, Safety, and Patient Satisfaction with the Teach-Back Method

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The teach-back method is an evidence-based practice used in patient education. Clinicians use teach-back to educate patients about health information and enable them to “subsequently evaluate whether learning has occurred” (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 267). Teach-back checks for patient understanding of medical diagnosis, treatments, and instructions regarding disease complications (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 269). Patients become knowledgeable about their disease process and consequently, teach-back promotes clarification and prevents communication errors. It is important to hospital-based nursing because it optimizes patient learning and comprehension (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 270). Ultimately, teach-back helps improve quality care, safety, and patient satisfaction (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 271).
In the healthcare setting, teach-back is used when patient education is required (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 270). Teach-back is defined as a non-shaming process of asking patients to repeat information in their own words (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 268). It involves teaching and learning between two participants. Patients who have low health literacy levels are at risked for the need of teach-back. These include patients who are older than 60 years old (Eadie, 2014, p. 9). Older adult patients may have sensory alterations that impair communication (Potter & Perry, 2013, p. 181). In addition, patients from low socioeconomic status and minority groups are more likely to have inadequate health literacy (Tamura-Lis, 2013, p. 267). Nevertheless, assessment tools are available to identify a patient’s health literacy level (Eadie, 2014, p. 11)
Teach-back is currently used and expected in hospital-based practice. Nursing interventions are implemented to promote...

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...e evidence-based practice to communicate effectively.
Studies show that patients forget at least half of the information explained to them (Tamaru-Lis, 2013, p. 268). In addition, low health literacy correlates with poor disease management, readmissions, and poor compliance to treatments (Eadie, 2014, p. 9). The goal of teach-back, therefore, is to improve recollection and increase health literacy. Nursing practice is aimed towards meeting these goals. Ultimately, nursing practice will improve as nurses are better able to deliver quality care, promote patient safety, and increase patient satisfaction. As a result, patient outcomes are optimized because teach-back minimizes communication errors and encourages participation. Participation allows patients to make appropriate decisions which direct health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
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