Readability of After Visit Summaries: Comparing the Level of Information in After Visit Summaries from Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Residencies
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
MeSH SubjectsInternal Medicine
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractWritten advice can improve compliance with medical instructions. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services expect physicians to provide a summarized report following at least most patient encounters. We analyzed 400 after visit summaries (AVS) provided to patients at Internal Medicine and Family Medicine residency clinics. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Test and the Flesch Reading Ease Score were used to evaluate readability. We demonstrated that AVS are usually written at a level that is too high to be helpful to patients. We conclude that patient visit summaries are not written to the appropriate recommended grade levels of <-8th grade for the average patient population. Further studies are needed to show if appropriate grade level summaries will improve quality of care.