Health Literate Care Model Supports Patient Engagement

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Hospitals that incorporate health literacy into their culture can more effectively engage patients in their care, according to a commentary in Health Affairs.

Health literacy, the "ability to obtain, process, communicate and understand basic health information and services" is necessary for patient engagement, the authors write.

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They propose a Health Literate Care Model that combines the Care Model — in which a healthcare organization's structure supports productive interactions between providers and patients — and the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The Care Model, formerly called the Chronic Care Model, was first developed by Edward Wagner and coauthors, and includes six elements:

1. Healthcare organization
2. Self-management support
3. Delivery system design
4. Decision support
5. Clinical information systems
6. Community partners

In the authors' proposed Health Literate Care Model, each of these elements is associated with one or more relevant tools from AHRQ's Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, which includes 20 tools:

1. Form a team
2. Assess your practice
3. Raise awareness
4. Tips for communicating clearly
5. The teach-back method
6. Follow-up with patients    
7. Telephone considerations    
8. Brown bag medication review    
9. How to address language differences    
10. Culture and other considerations    
11. Design easy-to-read material    
12. Use health education material effectively    
13. Welcome patients: helpful attitudes, signs    
14. Encourage questions    
15. Make action plans    
16. Improve medication adherence and accuracy        
17. Get patient feedback
18. Link patients to nonmedical support
19. Medication resources
20. Use health and literacy resources in the community                        

More Articles on Patient Engagement:

3 Principles of Patient, Family Engagement in Healthcare
Study: Highly Engaged Patients Have Lower Healthcare Costs

11 Healthcare Leaders Share Patient Engagement Strategies

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