Helping Patients Manage Complex Health Issues
In 2014, Sutter Health introduced an innovative educational series, called the
Stoplight Tools, to help patients with chronic conditions. The tools help these patients
improve their quality of life by better managing their health at home. Clinical experts
across the Sutter Health network partnered with patients to develop 36 plainly written
handouts on common conditions and commonly prescribed and high-risk medications.
Available in English and 10 other languages, the handouts use the familiar image and colors of a stoplight to make medical information easier for people to understand. The green, yellow and red colors help patients quickly assess the seriousness of their symptoms and guide what actions they should take to stay well. Patients with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other chronic conditions can now use the Stoplight Tools to monitor their symptoms and avoid frequent, costly trips to the emergency department.