The medicine institute defines health literacy as “the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic information and services they need to make appropriate decisions” (Federico, 2022). Research indicates that health literacy is a major component of health status. Inadequate health literacy might cause many negative effects on a person’s health and wellness, these includes poor health outcomes, poor self-care, reduced satisfaction, unnecessary readmissions, etc.
After reviewing the AHRQ web, I discovered how essential is health literacy to an individual’s health and well-being. Also, I realized it is the responsibility of healthcare providers to make them responsible for their health.
Effective communication between healthcare givers and patients is essential when addressing healthcare illiteracy (AHRG, 2022). I will improve both spoken and written communication. It can be done by communicating clearly, asking patients open-ended questions and clarifying where necessary, using the teach-back method, addressing language barriers, improving access to communication media, considering patients’ traditions, culture, and beliefs before and after serving them and using materials that can be easily understood by the patients, etc.
There is a need to improve self-management and support systems when addressing barriers that hinder healthcare literacy (AHRG, 2022). To achieve these, I will encourage questions and give an appropriate response, make action plans sharing the same goals with the patient, help patients remember when and how to take medications, and get their feedback. Also, I will connect patients with literacy and medical resources to get more information which might be unavailable at the facility level.
AHRG. (2022). AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. Ahrq.gov. Retrieved 25 April 2022, from https://www.ahrq.gov/health-literacy/improve/precautions/index.html.
Federico, F. (2022). 8 Ways to Improve Health Literacy. Ihi.org. Retrieved 25 April 2022, from http://www.ihi.org/communities/blogs/8-ways-to-improve-health-literacy#:~:text=Speak%20more%20slowly%20when%20providing,at%20an%20appropriate%20grade%20level.
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