, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 273-275
Date: 11 Oct 2013

Physicians’ Roles in Creating Health Literate Organizations: A Call to Action

This is an excerpt from the content

Fueled by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and accreditation and credentialing requirements, physicians are being called on to deliver patient-centered care, reduce medical errors and generally increase health care quality and health outcomes, all while containing costs. Health care leaders recognize that fully engaging patients in prevention, decision-making and self-management activities is critical to achieving these aims and that patient engagement entails addressing health literacy.

Health literacy is defined by the ACA as “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions.” That capacity is determined not only by individuals’ skills and abilities, but also by the complexities of the health care system that can increase the communication demands placed on patients. With only 12 % of American adults having health literacy skills proficient enough to successfull ...