August’s Featured Member – Diane Moyer

This month’s featured member, Diane Moyer, has lived in Worthington for nearly 30 years. She works at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center as the Associate Director of Health System Patient Education –  a role she has filled for 16 years.

Diane graduated from The Altoona Hospital School of Nursing in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1977. After graduating, she moved to Cleveland and worked at University Hospitals. Diane later got her BSN from Kent State University and her MS in Nursing from The Ohio State University.

When asked about her nursing ‘specialty,’ she responded:

“Despite having spent a number of years in various roles in med-surg nursing, my current specialty always seems to be classified as “other” on most professional surveys.

I specialize in patient education, health literacy and plain language communication. I always enjoyed teaching patients and their families about their condition and their care when I was doing direct care. I found it very gratifying to be able to watch family members gain confidence, comfort and competence in learning skills to care for themselves or their loved ones. Most health care is self-care, so patient education is tremendously important!  I advocate for our patients and encourage our clinicians to get input from their patients when they develop patient education materials, and our department of 3 does some great work!

Although I don’t have direct interaction with “patients” in my current role (which I miss), I am always learning about new procedure and treatments.  I get to work with clinical roles across the medical center to develop or revise patient education resources. We have made some strides to simplify consent forms with the legal team and physicians. I am often asked to review document or letters intended for use with patients to simplify the text to plain language and health literacy standards.

I have worked with Karen Guthrie from Mount Carmel and the patient education specialists from OhioHealth and Nationwide Children’s over the last decade to develop a collection of translated documents to provide clinicians with tools to provide patient education to the diverse limited English speaking population in central Ohio, and internationally through www.healthinfotranslations.org.

I have been very active in the Health Care Education Association (HCEA) and have a network of patient educators across the country, willing to share best practices and lessons learned. I have also been able to coach and support others interested in learning more about patient education resource development and plain language writing.

Despite the fact that all clinicians are responsible to “teach patients”, there is little time spent in most health care professional education related to how to effectively teach. Hopefully you know someone on your unit or area who is able to assess what the patient wants and needs to learn and is able to evaluate whether the patient/family fully understands what was taught. Taking the time to listen to the patient’s story to know what he or she wants to know can create a great rapport and trust, which benefits the interactions for both the patient and the clinician.”