Presentation Title

Foundations of Health Literacy

Location

Lobby

Type of Presentation

Poster Session (45 minutes)

Target Audience

Other

Health Professionals, Public Health Professionals, Librarians

Abstract

Background: In the context of healthcare, patients are presented with complex information and required to make difficult decisions. In order to find and access health services, search for health information online, analyze risks and benefits, and communicate effectively with healthcare providers, patients need to employ an array of information literacy skills. These skills -- “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” -- are termed Health Literacy. Low health literacy is linked with more emergency room visits and hospitalizations and a higher risk of death, and is a “major source of economic inefficiency in the U.S. healthcare system.”

Methods: This poster will share health literacy education initiatives for consumers and healthcare providers that increase effective health communication and reduce health disparities.

Results: For both consumers and healthcare providers, a variety of tools are available to help build health literacy in an organization, school, or community:

  • Plain language health information materials
  • Multi-language health information materials
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine health literacy classes and resources
  • Cultural humility training for medical professionals
  • The use of graphic novels for empathy-building (Graphic Medicine)

Conclusions: Health literacy initiatives, both for patients and for health care providers, can increase effective health communication and mitigate the information literacy barriers that contribute to health disparities.

Presentation Description

This poster will share health literacy education initiatives for consumers and healthcare providers that increase effective health communication and reduce health disparities. Featured tools and resources will include plain language and multi-language health information materials, health literacy classes from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, graphic medicine, and cultural humility training for medical professionals.

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Feb 21st, 1:00 PM Feb 21st, 1:45 PM

Foundations of Health Literacy

Lobby

Background: In the context of healthcare, patients are presented with complex information and required to make difficult decisions. In order to find and access health services, search for health information online, analyze risks and benefits, and communicate effectively with healthcare providers, patients need to employ an array of information literacy skills. These skills -- “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” -- are termed Health Literacy. Low health literacy is linked with more emergency room visits and hospitalizations and a higher risk of death, and is a “major source of economic inefficiency in the U.S. healthcare system.”

Methods: This poster will share health literacy education initiatives for consumers and healthcare providers that increase effective health communication and reduce health disparities.

Results: For both consumers and healthcare providers, a variety of tools are available to help build health literacy in an organization, school, or community:

  • Plain language health information materials
  • Multi-language health information materials
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine health literacy classes and resources
  • Cultural humility training for medical professionals
  • The use of graphic novels for empathy-building (Graphic Medicine)

Conclusions: Health literacy initiatives, both for patients and for health care providers, can increase effective health communication and mitigate the information literacy barriers that contribute to health disparities.