Skip to main content

Patient Engagement: Building a Base for Success by Improving Health Literacy

*** CCM, RN and SW hours ***
Originally presented at 2021 Annual Conference

Health Literacy as been identified as once of the Social Determinants of Health and described as the “’Newest Vital Sign”. A person’s ability to obtain, process and act on information received to manage their healthcare issues is a more effective predictor of patient engagement and patient self management success than any other intervention. As healthcare continues to struggle with management of chronic, high-profile conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a review of literature demonstrates that health literacy is intimately tied to a patient’s success at managing their chronic condition(s). Current discharge education strategies such as ‘teach back’ do not appear to be consistently utilized to meet the need of properly preparing this population to self-manage. This presentation will review the importance of health literacy, the impact that lower health literacy plays in patient engagement, readmission reduction and review tools and strategies to positively impact greater health literacy in our populations.

  1. Recognize the definition of health literacy, the risks of poor health literacy and current statistics in the US.
  2. Assess current key strategies in literature, including Health Literacy Universal Precautions to improve health literacy.
  3. Review actual case studies addressing health literacy improvement related to chronic condition management; contributing to decrease in utilization, readmissions and length of stay.