October 19th - Numeracy Best Practices: When, Why, and How to Use (or Lose) Numbers in Health Materials
Recorded On: 10/19/2020
Health information is often complicated and hard to understand, especially for people with low health literacy skills. Health materials that are full of numbers can be especially confusing. That's why many health communicators are taught to use numbers only when necessary. But what does that really mean? And is it good advice?
In this session, you’ll learn what research tells us about including numbers in different types of health materials for audiences with low health literacy. You'll also hear what consumers have to say — in their own words — about numbers in health materials. And you’ll get practical tips to help you decide when to include numbers, what types of numbers to use, and when to leave them out of your materials entirely.
After this session, participants will be able to:
- Explain why people with low health literacy skills often have trouble understanding numbers in health materials
- Identify which types of numbers are typically easiest for people to understand
- Identify at least 3 best practices for using numbers when communicating about health
- Think critically about when — and how — to include numbers in health materials for audiences with low health literacy
Sandy Hilfinker, MA
Sandy is a leading expert in the design and development of consumer health campaigns and digital tools for audiences with limited health literacy skills. She’s a passionate advocate for human-centered design with extensive experience overseeing and conducting formative and usability research with diverse audiences. Sandy delivers value to clients like NIH, CMS, and VHA — and simplifies the user experience for millions of health care consumers. As Chief Operating Officer at CommunicateHealth, she sets strategy and provides corporate-level oversight across more than $15 million in communication and health literacy consulting contracts.
Andrea is a talented writer and editor with a passion for public health and a knack for translating complicated medical research into plain language. She’s dedicated to making even the toughest health topics understandable and approachable. Andrea crafts clear, concise, and engaging health content that is accessible to low-literacy audiences — and a pleasure to read for everyone else.