Saturday, October 6, 2012

Health Literacy and Medical Errors

When literacy collides with health care, the issue of “health literacy” – defined as the degree to which
individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed
to make appropriate health decisions – begins to cast a long patient safety shadow.

health care information – such as insurance forms, consent forms, and medication instructions – is often very complex and seemingly impenetrable. Even those who are most proficient at using text and numbers may be compromised in the understanding of health care information when they are challenged by sickness and feelings of vulnerability.

Health literacy also encompasses the educational, social and cultural factors that influence the expectations and preferences of the individual, and the extent to which those providing health care services can meet those expectations and preferences. Health care practitioners literally have to understand where their patients “are coming from” – the beliefs, values, and cultural mores and traditions that influence how health care information is shared and received.

We understand the importance of Health Literacy.  

Putting Patients First Through Health Literacy - conference and free workshop scheduled to be held on Sunday, 2 Dec is a step forward in this direction.  Please visit our conference website: for complete details on how to register.

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