4 Chicago systems employ health literacy specialists

Chicago health systems are hiring specialists to improve patients' health literacy, a skill in which only 12 percent of Americans are proficient, Chicago Health reported Sept. 29. 

Health literacy experts can bridge the gap between patients and providers, better preventive care and improve health equity in Latino, Black and Native American communities, according to the publication. 

 

The following hospitals and health systems were reported to use health literacy specialists by Chicago Health

Northwestern Medicine: A kidney health literacy specialist meets with patients before and after procedures to discuss healthy lifestyle choices. 

University of Chicago Medicine: A team develops comprehensible education materials, reviewed by a health literacy consultant. A cultural competence team trains staff on health literacy. 

University of Illinois College of Medicine: The Office of Health Literacy educates students and providers, conducts research and partners with community outreach organizations to advance health literacy. 

Weiss Memorial Hospital: A health equity committee trains staff to improve patients' health literacy, using methods such as "teach-back" to ensure understanding of complex subjects. 

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