Mini Health Literacy Checklist
This Checklist is a condensed version of The Gippsland Guide to Becoming a Health Literate Organisation. This condensed version has been created specifically for smaller health services to monitor how their organisation is tracking toward best practice health literacy standards, the Ten Attributes of a Health Literate Organisation.
The completed checklist will highlight gaps in health literacy practice and support the development of an organisational improvement plan. If you would like support in completing in the checklist or in any other health literacy work please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Health Literacy and Becoming a Health Literate Organisation
Health Literacy is the degree to which a person has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.
“Health Literacy is more than being able to read pamphlets and successfully make appointments. By improving people’s access to health information and their capacity to use it effectively, health literacy is critical to empowerment.” – World Health Organisation
Health Literacy has a direct impact on a person’s health outcomes and the safety and quality of the care they receive.
More than 50% of Australians have low health literacy. This means more than half of consumers who access health organisations are unsure of the information provided to them and the services available to assist them to make informed decisions about their health.
A Health Literate Organisation is an organisation that is easy for people to access, navigate, understand and use information and services to promote and maintain good health.
The infrastructure, policies, processes, materials, people and relationships that make up the health system have an impact on the way in which people are able to access, understand, evaluate and apply health-related information and services.
Meeting the health literacy needs of individuals who access healthcare services can benefit the organisation, the community, and the individual by:
- Reducing the risk of harm to consumers, whether it is preventing a faster progression of a condition, a medication error or a poorer health outcome.
- Reducing the use of health services and therefore lower healthcare costs.
- Reducing the demand on services through reduced rates of hospitalisation and use of emergency departments, shorter periods of treatment and less frequent readmissions.
- Reducing the use of complex treatments due to individuals not being at a point of emergency or urgency when entering the health system.
This is a good pictorial representation of a health literate organisation: