Diabetes Education Program Links Health Literacy with Patient Outcomes
TULSA – Researchers at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center have partnered with the OU-Tulsa library information sciences department to create the region’s only patient-centered medical library. Healthcare professionals at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center are using the library to investigate the relationship between a patient’s ability to self-manage a chronic illness and that patient’s understanding of the disease.
The OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center Morningcrest Health Library, named after a grant received from the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation, offers a relaxed environment where patients can ask questions and seek information about chronic illnesses that supplements what they learn from their doctors. The educational materials provided by the library gives patients an opportunity to further understand the causes and complications of their condition and to better understand their treatment options.
Dr. David Jelley, director of Harold Hamm Diabetes Center Tulsa division, intends to collect visitation data to determine the success rate of the library and to suggest that providing this type of resource aids in better health for patients who participate. “Most studies demonstrate that poor health literacy leads to negative outcomes. No one has demonstrated that an intervention to improve health literacy can produce better health outcomes. This library is the first step in collecting information that will help us establish that claim.”
Ruth Neal, medical librarian, works with doctors in the region to ensure patients receive the most current information about their diagnoses. “We want to educate patients as much as possible about chronic illnesses so they can make the best choices for their health,” Neal said. “Giving them access to videos, journal articles, and by providing reliable information, we hope to empower people to take charge of their health.”
The library opened to the public in October of 2012 and is located at 41st and Yale, next to the Schusterman Center Clinic. Community members are encouraged to visit and learn more about their medical condition.