Health Literacy in the United States: Enhancing Assessments and Reducing Disparities
by Claude Lopez, PhD; Bumyang Kim, PhD; and Katherine Sacks, PhD of the Milken Institute
Literacy plays a central role in health and health care. A person’s level of health literacy influences their health-related behaviors along with their ability to navigate the complexities of the health-care system. The level of health literacy of individuals or communities often mirrors disparities in society. Low health literacy is frequently associated with other determinants: social and economic factors that reinforce health inequities. To close the gaps, ensuring adequate health literacy throughout a population is a priority of public health policy. Read more
Assessing Teach-Back Utilization in a Downtown Medical Center
by Karen Komondor, RN, BSN, CCRN and Ryan Choudhury, MD
The St. Vincent Charity Medical Center's Patient and Family Education Policy directs staff to provide patients with easy-to-understand written and verbal communication. This includes using plain language and Teach-Back. Teach-Back—or asking patients to explain in their own words what they have learned—is a best practice that health care professionals use to ensure patient understanding. The effective use of plain language is key to using Teach-Back successfully. Read more
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