Patient Safety Topics
:
Health Literacy
Overview

Structuring and presenting healthcare information that aligns with a patient’s level of understanding can help patients achieve optimal outcomes. Verbal communication strategies such as “teach back” and “Ask Me 3®” programs and written strategies address opportunities identified in the event reports and may help improve patient understanding and engagement in their care.

Key Data and Statistics

​The largest number of event reports (16.6%, n = 44 of 265) involved patients 51 to 60 years old. See Figure for the age distribution from newborns to 94 years.

Figure. Potential Health Literacy-Related Events Involving Patient Misunderstanding as reported through Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System, By Patient Age (Years), 2005 through 2014 (N = 265)

 

Educational Tools

Health Literacy Checklist: Evaluating Patient Documents
This sample checklist of health literacy principles may be used when creating or evaluating documents, such as patient healthcare instructions, information, or written permissions.

Health Literacy Document Assessment Reference Log
This log can be used to track the evaluation and application of health literacy principles to patient-related healthcare documents.

Multimedia

 


Advisory Articles

 

Safety Tips for Patients

 

 

©2017 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority