SPOTLIGHT: Patient illiteracy impedes treatment

Patients may not comply with written instructions if they can't read. Sounds obvious, but this essay in The New England Journal of Medicine highlights how difficult it can be to diagnose illiteracy along with everything else. Twelve percent of U.S. adults can't decipher medication labels, and an unknown number are scared away from hospitals and clinics by the prospect of paperwork. They may go to the ER instead, where someone else asks the questions and fills out the forms. Article