A Proposed ‘Health Literate Care Model’ Would Constitute A Systems Approach To Improving Patients’ Engagement In Care – 2013 [US]
Improving health outcomes relies on patients’ full engagement in prevention, decision-making, and self-management activities. Yet relatively few Americans are proficient in understanding and acting on available health information. Koh et al (2013) propose a Health Literate Care Model that would weave health literacy strategies into the widely adopted Care Model (formerly known as the Chronic Care Model). This model calls for first approaching all patients with the assumption that they are at risk of not understanding their health conditions or how to deal with them, and then subsequently confirming and ensuring patients’ understanding. For health care organisations adopting this model, health literacy would then become an organisational value infused into all aspects of planning and operations, including self-management support, delivery system design, shared decision-making support, clinical information systems to track and plan patient care, and helping patients access community resources. Koh et al also propose a measurement framework to track the impact of the new Health Literate Care Model on patient outcomes and quality of care.
Improving Communication – Improving Care
This document, published by the American Medical Association (2006), is a guide to "how health care organizations can ensure effective, patient-centered communication with people from diverse populations". It includes a section on health literacy and provides information about why health literacy is important to health care companies, offering suggestions for organizations in terms of health literacy goals.
Steps to Developing an Organizational Plan
From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an online tutorial with suggested actions and helpful templates: "Every organization involved in health information and services needs its own health literacy plan. Without an action plan, organizational improvements to address health literacy will likely be uncoordinated and not sustainable. Everyone has limited time and resources, and having a plan helps you know what to do first."