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 up-to-date clinical practice guidelines.
- Continuous quality improvement of multi-media 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 patient education. Standard content is written at an average of at or below the 6th grade reading level, never exceeding at or below 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 Flesh-Kincaid Readability Scale. Additional reading level assessment methodologies can be applied upon request.
- Including meaningful images. Elsevier’s content contains meaningful images that support patient understanding and ability to take action. Images are reviewed regularly to ensure they are medically accurate and high quality for clarity on both screen viewing or print 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 AHRQ’s PEMAT (patient education materials assessment tool) to develop and audit content.
- Translating content into 17 languages. Elsevier uses a certified medical translation service to ensure that all multi-media content is translated into Spanish. Our most highly used titles are translated into 17 of the most commonly spoken and read languages in the U.S.
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 requires that all internal and external medical reviewers utilize the best available evidence when reviewing content. Elsevier’s clinical team appraises each reference, including:
- Clinical practice guidelines
- Systematic reviews
- Peer-reviewed research
- Up-to-date peer-reviewed books, articles, and websites
Elsevier does not knowingly publish false or misleading claims or promote ineffective or dangerous health care practices, including 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 publishing, each document is reviewed by a multidisciplinary team that includes:
- External medical reviewers. This includes licensed practitioners in the health care field and subject matter experts in medical or interprofessional specialties.
- Internal 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 are trained to review content through “the eyes of the patient,” and are responsible for applying plain language and health literacy principles to our multi-media 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 content quality audits to ensure that content is standardized, complete, and clinically 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 up to date with changing practice standards and recognized medical guidelines.
If a new guideline, core measure, standard of care, or new 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 include over 100 thoroughly vetted health care professionals currently licensed and practicing in their respective areas of specialty. Our reviewers span a variety of specialty areas, including:
- Mental and Behavioral Health
- Women’s Health/OBGYN
- Men’s Health
- Urology and Nephrology
- Orthopedics and Rheumatology
- Preventive Health and Internal Medicine
- Emergency Medicine
- Infectious Disease
- Wound Ostomy
- Allied Health Professions (e.g., Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy)
Elsevier Editorial Board
Elsevier leverages an editorial board of professionals and patients that represent health care systems from around the U.S. 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 co-chairs include:
Julibeth Lauren, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, VP, Editor-in-Chief, Elsevier Patient Engagement
Lya M. Stroupe, DNP, APRN, CPNP, NEA-BC, Manager, Nursing Research and Professional Development, West Virginia University
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.
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 PEcustomercare@elsevier.com.
For questions or concerns about specific health issues, contact your health care provider. If you think you need help right away, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services.