Teach Back is an evidence based approach to patient education. Providing equitable, safe, quality health care depends on our ability to communicate clearly and effectively to our patients and families throughout the care continuum. The Department of Nursing Practice, Education and Research recognize that health literacy principles and the use of Teach Back methods empower the patient-provider communication to improve health outcomes by reducing medical errors and facilitating shared decision making.
The most widely used definition of health literacy focuses on how well an individual can succeed at getting, understanding, and using health information and services.
"Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions."
The purpose of the Teach Back Toolkit is to enable the learner to effectively communicate, with the use plain language, information and services needed for safe, quality patient care, especially during transitions between health care settings. The Joint Commission analysis of sentinel events from 1994-2013 reveals that a failure of communication was the most frequent problem leading to errors, injury and death. Nursing is the front line of communication for and with patients.
Examples of Teach-back in patient education scenarios
For questions, contact:
Jill Scherrey, MSN, RN-BC
Nursing Professional Development Specialist
Center for Nursing Excellence