Health literacy is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as, “the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand, and use information in ways that promote and maintain good health” (n.d.). The American Medical Association (AMA) defines health literacy as, “a constellation of skills, including the ability to perform basic reading and numerical tasks required to function in the health care environment” (Baker, 2006). These definitions highlight the importance of health literacy for both healthcare workers and patients.
Whether it is the ability to fully analyze and interpret a researched study, or to speak to patients in a way that gains their trust and develops their understanding, health literacy directly relates to patient care.
However, understanding the importance of health literacy does not directly correlate to effective health literacy, so how does health literacy impact patient outcomes? What barriers or social determinants might impact health literacy?
For this Discussion, reflect on your understanding of health literacy, health information technology, and health economics. Consider the impact of each of these topics and explore how they are related to patient care. You will also recommend strategies to overcome potential barriers as they relate to the topics.
Baker, D. W. (2006). The meaning and measure of health literacy. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21(8), 878–883. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00540.x
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Health promotion. https://www.who.int/teams/health-promotion/enhanced-wellbeing/seventh-global-conference/health-literacy#:~:text=Health%20Literacy%20has%20been%20defined,promote%20and%20maintain%20good%20health
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