It Begins with YouHealth Literacy
Health literacy encompasses understanding relevant information, being able to evaluate and engage with providers to ask questions, engage in shared decision making, and raise concerns about the approach to care. The concept has also expanded to different forms of literacy—health insurance literacy and how to improve individuals understanding of how to use health insurance to engage in the health care system differently.
For decades, there have been efforts to assist individuals with understanding their personal health care—health literacy was an effort focused on providing information to individuals about health indicators, how to engage with provides, and healthy lifestyle. Through brochures, fact sheets, and patient handbooks in various languages, providers attempted to improve patient health literacy. Over the last decade, as the patient’s role in achieving health outcomes has been empirically demonstrated, health literacy has broadened and become more significant.