What is health literacy?
“Hypertension, bradycardia, anaphylaxis…?” “What is this medicine for again?” “Copay, coinsurance?” “What type of specialist should I see?” “How do I manage this condition?” Making your way through the medical world can be tricky for many people, even for people who are well educated or good with numbers.
Health literacy is important for all people because, at some point or another, we must make decisions that impact our health or the health of a loved one.
What’s more, low health literacy is linked to increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Read on to learn more about health literacy and steps you can take to help improve your health literacy.
“Health literacy is separate from literacy skills. It has nothing to do with reading level, education, or what kind of job a person has. Low health literacy might have a direct, negative effect on a person’s health. The important thing is to work with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re taking the right steps to protect your health.”
Annlouise Assaf, PhD
Patient Health Activation Expert.