Elsevier Interactive Patient Education Editorial Policy
Elsevier Interactive Patient Education’s vision is to create reliable learner-centered education that strengthens collaboration between patients and the health care team and empowers decision-making throughout the patient journey, leading to overall improvement of health outcomes. We do this through:
Commitment to excellence in health literacy and plain language best practices.
Alignment with evidence-based health care practice, peer-reviewed research, regulatory requirements, and the most current clinical practice guidelines.
Continuous quality improvement of multimedia content development, workflows, and processes.
Collaboration and standardization of content across Elsevier’s Clinical Solutions.
Strengthening relationships and delivering on promises to customers.
Health Literacy Standards
Health literacy refers to an individual’s ability to access and understand basic health information. Elsevier seeks to address health literacy barriers by:
Considering patient reading level. Elsevier offers two levels of interactive patient education: Standard and Easy-to-Read. Standard content is written at an average reading level of 6th grade, but never exceeding the 8th-grade reading level. The Easy-to-Read content is written at or below the 4th-grade reading level. Reading levels are based on the Flesch–Kincaid Readability Scale.
Including meaningful images. Elsevier’s content contains meaningful images that support patient understanding and ability to take action. Images are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are medically accurate and are of high quality for print and on-screen use.
Complying with plain language guidelines. Elsevier creates content that aligns with style, language, and organization principles outlined in the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
Auditing content. Elsevier regularly assesses content with validated health literacy assessment tools, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). The tools are also used to formally audit and score patient education content.
Translating content into 18 languages. Elsevier uses a certified medical translation service to ensure that all multimedia content is translated into Spanish, with various titles translated into additional languages. Our most highly used titles are translated into all 18 of the most commonly spoken and read languages in the United States and are localized for the Middle East and English-speaking countries outside the United States.
Evidence-based Health Care Standards
Elsevier derives its content from a rigorous, systematic, and reproducible process to find the highest quality and best available evidence, which is then integrated with clinical expertise and patient considerations to optimize patient outcomes.
Elsevier collaborates with HealthDay(opens in new tab/window), a leading independent creator of evidence-based health content, to support us in writing and maintaining a portion of our total library of content. HealthDay attests that its content creation is free of any financial interests. HealthDay is certified by Health On the Net(opens in new tab/window) as a transparent and reliable source of online health information, and its content is rated by HealthGuard(opens in new tab/window) as free of misinformation.
Elsevier requires that all internal and external medical reviewers use the best available evidence when reviewing content. Elsevier’s clinical team appraises each reference for quality, including:
Clinical practice guidelines
The most current peer-reviewed books, articles, and websites
Elsevier does not knowingly publish false or misleading claims or promote ineffective or dangerous health care practices, including practices based on misinformation, unapproved treatments, and off-label use of medication, equipment, or products.
Editorial Review Process
The goal of Elsevier’s editorial review process is to produce the highest quality content as efficiently as possible to best meet our customers’ needs. Before being published, each document is reviewed by a multidisciplinary team that includes:
Medical reviewers. This includes licensed practitioners in the health care field and subject matter experts in medical or interprofessional specialties.
Clinical editors. Elsevier’s clinical editors are master’s-prepared or master’s-candidate registered nurses or licensed independent providers. Master’s- or doctoral-prepared registered nurses maintain oversight for the work of any non–master’s-level clinical editor.
Medical literacy editors and copy editors. Elsevier’s internal editorial staff members are trained to review content through “the eyes of the patient,” and are responsible for applying plain language and health literacy principles to our multimedia content.
The team monitors government resources and publications for new or revised core measures, clinical guidelines, national patient safety guidelines, national health care accreditation initiatives, and professional society guidelines. It also leverages clinical content across Elsevier Clinical Solutions, as well as in-house style guides and standard language guidelines. The team regularly completes quality checks and audits to ensure that content is standardized, complete, and accurate.
Review Frequency Standards
Each document in the Elsevier library is assigned a scheduled one-, two-, or three-year clinical review interval to ensure that content stays current with changing practice standards and recognized medical guidelines.
If a new guideline, core measure, standard of care, or evidence-based practice becomes available, a review can be triggered by Elsevier’s clinical reviewers. A review can also be triggered if a customer requests edits for quality improvement before the scheduled review date. The content will continue to be reviewed according to its scheduled review cycle.
Medical Reviewer Standards
Elsevier’s medical reviewers are thoroughly vetted health care professionals currently licensed and practicing in their areas of specialty. Our reviewers span a variety of specialty areas, including:
Ear, Nose, and Throat Medicine
Mental and Behavioral Health
Orthopedics and Rheumatology
Preventive Health and Internal Medicine
Urology and Nephrology
Women’s Health/Obstetrics and Gynecology
Wound and Ostomy Care
Elsevier Interactive Patient Education maintains routine primary source verification processes for required licensure and certification for all active subject matter experts and clinical reviewers.
Elsevier Editorial Board
Elsevier leverages an editorial board of licensed clinicians who represent health care systems from around the United States. The Editorial Board provides direction to and decision-making around Elsevier content creation to ensure that content strategy best aligns with current health care practice, market trends, and customer needs.
Editorial Board cochairs are presented below:
Laurie Gehrt, MSN, MBA, RN, CCM, CSMC, FACHE, Editor-in-Chief, Nursing and Allied Health Practice, Patient Education
Lya M. Stroupe, DNP, APRN, CPNP, NEA-BC, NPD-BC, Manager, Nursing Research and Professional Development, Magnet® and Transition to Practice Program Director, West Virginia University Medicine and Hospitals
Nursing and Allied Health Practice and Patient Education Alignment Team
Elsevier engages the services of nursing and allied health professionals who support the creation and delivery of the highest quality products across Elsevier Clinical Solutions, including Interactive Patient Education. To do this, the Alignment Team develops criteria for standardized references, guidelines, and literature surveillance; it also develops the criteria for management of subject matter experts across all disciplines, ensuring implementation of cross-functional evidence-based methodologies.
Interactive Patient Education Content Team
The Interactive Patient Education Content Team is a team of Elsevier staff members that supports the maintenance, development, and enhancement of interactive patient education content that spans the entire patient journey. The Content Team strives to respond to customers’ needs as communicated through customer inquiries, including requests to update or expand existing content or to correct errors in content. Where customer requests cannot be fulfilled through change or enhancement of existing content, the Team can start the process of creating new content. Results of these processes are reported to the Alignment Team.
The clinicians who represent clinical editorial oversight of Elsevier Interactive Patient Education for the Alignment Team also serve in this capacity for the Content Team.
Interactive Patient Education Quality Council
The Quality Council of Elsevier Interactive Patient Education serves as the voice of the patient in Elsevier’s patient education content. The Council upholds the standards for plain language and health literacy, including the standard language and standard terms used in Elsevier’s patient education content. The Council membership includes medical literacy editors and a copy editor; clinical editors and a member of clinical leadership review and approve decisions made that would affect the clinical meaning and understanding of our patient education content.
Interactive Patient Education Quality Leadership Team
Elsevier Interactive Patient Education has a quality leadership team of key team leaders and staff members who make final decisions on quality-related policies and practices, including changes to those policies and practices. Leadership of the aforementioned Board, Council, and Content Team present to the Quality Leadership Team any proposed changes to policies and practices.
Elsevier does not include advertisements or promote particular brands, products, or health care organizations in its content. We do not allow commercial interests to inform, shape, or influence our content in any way.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should not make assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; should contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, sex, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability, or health condition; and should use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture, and/or cultural assumptions. We recommend that authors seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns (e.g., "clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, sex, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability, or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are not exhaustive or definitive.
Questions or Comments?
Elsevier welcomes feedback on our content in order to continue to improve its quality and make it as helpful as it can be for patients. Send us your content-related comments or questions by contacting your IT support or system administrator. You may also contact Elsevier Customer Support at [email protected].
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Last Revised Date: March 1, 2023
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