Health Literacy

Trishan Panch — October 20, 2015

A great Viewpoint article entitled “The Arc of Health Literacy” was published yesterday in JAMA. The article, written by Howard Koh and Rima Rudd from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, extols the importance of addressing health literacy at the clinician, institution, and system level:

Highlights from the article on the importance of considering health literacy include:

“Only about 12% of US adults had a proficient state of health literacy whereby “individuals can obtain, process and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions.”

“Limited health literacy [is linked] to a cascade of suboptimal health outcomes, including worse overall health status and increased early mortality rates in elderly persons”

The Joint Commission has linked health literacy to patient safety, see their white paper on the topic here.

We are highly committed to incorporating health literacy best practices into all of our materials here at Wellframe, and couldn’t agree more with the call for increasing attentiveness to health literacy concerns.

Check out the original JAMA article here.

Trishan Panch

Trishan Panch

Chief Medical Officer

Trishan is a primary care MD and Harvard trained health systems expert.