Health literacy is the use of a wide range of skills that improve the ability of people to act on information in order to live healthier lives. These skills include reading, writing, listening, speaking, numeracy, and critical analysis, as well as communication and interaction skills.
Health literacy applies to all individuals and to health systems. For example:
• An individual can be health literate by using the skills needed to find, understand, evaluate, communicate, and use information.
• Health care professionals can be health literate by presenting information in ways that improve understanding and ability of people to act on the information.
• Systems can be health literate by providing equal, easy, and shame-free access to and delivery of health care and health information.
Ask Me 3: Good Questions for Your Good Health
Every time you talk with a health care provider, ask these questions:
A provider's communication skills can directly influence a patient's comprehension. When talking with a patient, follow these guidelines:
From the National Patient Safety Foundation