Ask Me 3

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Why Important Nearly half of all American adults, 90 million people, have difficulty understanding and using health information that they are given (Partnership for Clear Health Communication, 2007). This statistic is important because health literacy skills – the ability to read, understand and effectively use basic medical instructions and information – are linked with an individual’s health status (Partnership for Clear Health Communication, 2007); which means the lower your health literacy skills are, the more likely you are to become sick or have lower than average health. This is why clear communication between patients and health care providers is essential (Partnership for Clear Health Communication, 2007). The better the communication between the health care provider and their patients, the more likely it is that the patient will have a better understanding of what their health problems are and why they need to follow their physician’s advice, and in turn can be one step closer to becoming a healthier person. The Ask Me 3 program is designed to do just that - to help patients increase their health literacy and, as a result, also raise their health.

What Questions to Ask The Ask Me 3 program is centered on three important universal questions that were developed to help increase health literacy. These three questions are (Partnership for Clear Health Communication, 2007):

  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important for me to do this?

These questions should be asked when patients are seeing any health care providers or pharmacists, when preparing for a medical test or procedure or when picking up medicine so you they will become a more informed consumer of their healthcare (Partnership for Clear Health Communication, 2007).

Advantages of Ask Me 3 There are many important advantages to asking these questions, such as keeping patients safe when taking their medication at home, helping them understand how to get better and being to better understand what procedures may be performed on them (Partnership for Clear Health Communication, 2007). They may also be able to spend less money on healthcare by making fewer trips to their healthcare provider because main questions were answered during the first visit instead of during consequential visits.

Other Important Questions to Ask The Ask Me 3 questions are not the only important questions that patients should ask their health care provider or pharmacist. It is also important that any other questions they thought of on their own are answered. These questions can be used to supplement the Ask Me 3 questions.

Partnership for Clear Health Communication. (2007). Ask Me 3. Retrieved from