Plain Language Assessment and Editing

What is plain language assessment?

Patient and consumer health materials are often too difficult for many people to read and understand. Assessing written materials is considered a first step in ensuring materials are clear and effective, and often draws attention to content in need of plain language editing. Plain language assessment includes:

  • Readability assessments that describe the level of difficulty of reading material
  • Formal evaluation of how easy the content is to understand and act upon

How does UAMS CHL assess health content?
To assess your documents our team of experts:

  • Prepares and cleans your document
  • Selects and uses appropriate validated tools to measure readability, understandability, and actionability

We give clients a summary which includes:

  • Level of difficulty
  • A list of recommendations to improve your document

Two paper icons: One with unclear words and the other with clear words. Above them it says: We make health information simple and easy to understand.

 

 

 

 

 

What is plain language editing?
Plain language editing refers to the use of evidence-based approaches and best practices to craft health material that is likely to be understood the first time it is read.

Developers of health communications benefit from providing patient/consumer information that:

  • Is easy to access, understand, and act upon
  • Encourages self-engagement in one’s health
  • Results in better health outcomes

How does UAMS CHL edit health information to incorporate plain language best practices?
After formally assessing your documents, our team of experts collaboratively edits each project, toward a difficulty level of “easy (around 6th grade) or better. Further improvements result in content that is organized, understandable, and actionable for your readers.

Why choose UAMS CHL for readability assessment and plain language editing?
Our expert team applies health literacy and numeracy best practices to improve a variety of patient- and public-facing health content for clients. Readability assessments and plain language editing services are available in both English and Spanish. Our plain language assessment and editing services are grounded in:

  • The evidence derived from collaborative research
  • Best practices
  • Expert consensus

Our editorial team includes experts in:

  • Health communication
  • Health education
  • Healthcare ethics
  • Legal healthcare communication
  • Spanish language interpretation and translation
  • Community health

How can I get my health-related documents assessed and edited?

  • Visit PlainPages.org
  • Create a free user account
  • Upload your health-related documents

Then we will provide you with a quote based on our transparent pricing, and you may pay online. We accept Visa, Master Card, and American Express. Alternative payment arrangements can be made (e.g. purchase orders).

For questions or more information, you may contact us by emailing healthliteracy@uams.edu or calling 501-686-2595.

Examples of our work

Customer Testimonials
“As an organization dedicated to improving clinical outcomes, Exactech was eager to work with the UAMS Center for Health Literacy in reviewing and improving our educational literature to meet the needs of patients. The UAMS CHL was willing to talk through challenges and opportunities we have to improve the legibility of our patient-focused collateral. Their passion for improving health literacy is evident in all that they do, and we look forward to continuing to utilize their plain language program as a resource in developing new educational materials.”
Allison Downey, APR
Marketing Communications Manager,
Patient Education and Practice Marketing
Exactech, Inc. Gainesville, FL

“The plain language services offered by the UAMS Center for Health Literacy have greatly improved our patient education materials for chronic kidney disease. Patients that received the materials expressed feelings of hope and empowerment to make their own decisions and wished they had been educated earlier.”
Andrea Easom, APRN
Clinical Instructor and Program Lead
Department of Nephrology