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Institute of Medicine (US) Roundtable on Health Literacy. Health Literacy, eHealth, and Communication: Putting the Consumer First: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009.

Cover of Health Literacy, eHealth, and Communication

Health Literacy, eHealth, and Communication: Putting the Consumer First: Workshop Summary.

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AGlossary of Terms

Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA)

“A point-of-care software solution that addresses the serious issue of inpatient medication errors by electronically validating and documenting medications for inpatients. It ensures that the patient receives the correct medication in the correct dose, at the correct time, and visually alerts staff when the proper parameters are not met” ( Accessed July 5, 2008.


“A blog is a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries” ( Accessed August 9, 2008.


“Involves simplifying and handling processes relating to information, communication and transactions within and between health care institutions and professionals by utilizing information and telecommunications technologies” (

Electronic Health Record (EHR)

An EHR system includes “(1) longitudinal collection of electronic health information for and about persons, where health information is defined as information pertaining to the health of an individual or health care provided to an individual; (2) immediate electronic access to person- and population-level information by authorized, and only authorized, users; (3) provision of knowledge and decision-support that enhance the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care; and (4) support of efficient processes for health care delivery. Critical building blocks of an EHR system are the electronic health records (EHR) maintained by providers (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory settings) and by individuals (also called personal health records)” (IOM, 2003).

Health literacy

“The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Ratzan, S. C., and R. M. Parker. 2000. Introduction. In National Library of Medicine Current Bibliographies in Medicine: Health Literacy. NLM Pub. No. CBM 2000-1. C. R. Selden, M. Zorn, S. C. Ratzan, and R. M. Parker, Editors. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).


“A nonprofit organization with a mission to help people make better health decisions. Nearly 100 million times a year, people turn to Healthwise information to learn how to do more for themselves, ask for the care they need, and say ‘no’ to the care they don’t need. Healthwise partners with health plans, hospitals, disease management companies, and health Web sites to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information to the people they serve. To learn more about the Healthwise Information Therapy (Ix®) Solution, visit or call 1.800.706.9646” ( Accessed May 6, 2008.


“Health Level Seven is one of several American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) operating in the healthcare arena. Health Level Seven’s domain is clinical and administrative data” ( Accessed July 11, 2008.

Medical home

“A medical home is not just a building, house, or hospital, but a team approach to providing health care. A Medical Home originates in a primary health care setting that is family-centered and compassionate. A partnership develops between the family and the primary health care practitioner. Together they access all medical and non-medical services needed by the child and family to achieve maximum potential. The Medical Home maintains a centralized, comprehensive record of all health related services to promote continuity of care” ( Accessed June 26, 2008.

MedLine Plus

A website network database of health information provided by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health for use by consumers and health care providers.

Participatory Action Research (PAR)

“A method of research where creating a positive social change is the predominant driving force” ( Accessed July 1, 2008.


A personal digital assistant is “a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, Internet, and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, Web browser, and personal organizer” ( Accessed August 11, 2008.

Personal Health Record (PHR)

“An electronic Personal Health Record (ePHR) is a universally accessible, layperson comprehensible, lifelong tool for managing relevant health information, promoting health maintenance, and assisting with chronic disease management via an interactive, common data set of electronic health information and e-health tools. The ePHR is owned, managed, and shared by the individual or his or her legal proxy(s) and must be secure to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the health information it contains. It is not a legal record unless so defined and is subject to various legal limitations” (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Accessed August 11, 2008.


“An audio broadcast that has been converted to an MP3 file or other audio file format for playback in a digital music player. Although many podcasts are played in a regular computer, the original idea was to listen on a portable device; hence, the ‘pod’ name from ‘iPod.’ Although podcasts are mostly verbal, they may contain music, images, and video” (,t=podcast&i=49433,00.asp). Accessed August 12, 2008.

Prevention Research Centers

“A network of academic researchers, public health agencies, and community members that conducts applied research in disease prevention and control” ( Accessed July 1, 2008.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feed

“A syndication format that was developed by Netscape in 1999 and became very popular for aggregating updates to blogs and the news sites. RSS has also stood for “Rich Site Summary” (,2542,t=RSS&i=50680,00.asp). Accessed August 11, 2008.


The initials, SOAP, stand for subjective, objective, assessment plan. The SOAP format is used to document observations and care provided.


Secure sockets layer which is a technology used to protect websites.

Streaming Video

“A one-way video transmission over a data network. It is widely used on the Web as well as company networks to play video clips and video broadcasts” ( Accessed August 11, 2008.

Voucher sites

A voucher is an agreement between a provider and the voucher program (usually a migrant health grantee), to reimburse a provider, who is usually in a distant location, for health services provided to the migrant worker. Voucher sites are local providers who are contracted with on a per visit basis.

Web 1.0

Web 1.0 is “a general reference to the World Wide Web during its first few years of operation. The term is mostly used to contrast the earlier days of the Web before blogs, wikis, social networking sites and Web-based applications became commonplace” ( Accessed November 3, 2008.

Web 2.0

“A term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. It refers to a supposed second-generation of Internet-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users” ( Accessed June 29, 2008.

Web portal

“A web portal is a term, often used interchangeably with gateway, for a World Wide Web site whose purpose is to be a major starting point for users when they connect to the Web” ( Accessed August 11, 2008.


Wi-Fi (short for ‘wireless fidelity’) is a term for certain types of wireless local area network (WLAN) that use specifications in the 802.11 family. The term Wi-Fi was created by an organization called the Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees tests that certify product interoperability. A product that passes the alliance tests is given the label ‘Wi-Fi certified’ (a registered trademark)” (,,sid40_gci838865,00.html). Accessed August 11, 2008.


“A wiki is a website that allows multiple users to create, modify, and organize web page content in a collaborative manner” ( Accessed August 9, 2008.


“A wireframe is a visualization tool for presenting proposed functions, structure and content of a Web page or Web site. A wireframe separates the graphic elements of a Web site from the functional elements in such a way that Web teams can easily explain how users will interact with the Web site. A typical wireframe includes (1) key page elements and their location, such as header, footer, navigation, content objects, branding elements, (2) grouping of elements, such as side bars, navigation bars, content areas, (3) labeling, page title, navigation links, headings to content objects, and (4) place holders, content text and images.” ( Accessed July 9, 2008.

Copyright © 2009, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK36292
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