Health Literacy In Health Care

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Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Low health literacy has a negative impact on a patients health status and use of the health care system. Patients with low health literacy levels cannot make decisions regarding their health care or follow instructions on medications and health maintenance behaviors. This can affect health care in a variety of ways. It is the health care provider’s responsibility to ensure that patients with low health literacy levels are identified and measures are taken to ensure those patients understand their options and instructions. To educate these patients, health …show more content…
These three categories were designed to reflect things that patients would see or be asked to do in their daily lives. There were examples such as following medication instructions, scheduling health screening tests and finding one’s way to the appropriate location for a medical appointment within a health care facility. The results of this study indicated that 36-38 of adults in the United States had a basic or below health literacy level or were not literate in English and could not participate in the assessment. Another 55% of U.S. adults reported having a mid-range level of health literacy which showed room for …show more content…
The inability to understand the information requested on a health care form can prevent an individual from having adequate health care coverage or having access to care when it is needed. If a patient does not have the ability to identify when treatment is needed for a medical condition, make the appointment and navigate through the health care system to be treated, their health can suffer. By not seeking medical attention at the beginning of an illness or not accessing the appropriate point of entry in a health care clinic, the patient is reducing the chance of having a positive health outcome. People with lower health literacy may wait to seek medical attention rather than utilizing preventative health services. These patients often have higher rates of admission and use services that are designed for more critical patient

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