Create the Plan
Create the Plan
Once you’ve conducted your assessment, you are ready to begin planning. Developing a plan for action is the first step in making health literacy real in your organization. This easy to use workbook [PDF - 738KB] will help you get started and think through the steps. If you are realistic, thoughtful and strategic, you can develop a plan that will help make your organization health literate. The basic elements of your plan could include the following.
- Issue Overview: The overview should be a description of the issue and why it is a worthwhile cause for your organization to be involved. Language from the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy [PDF - 666KB] can be used for your issue overview as it is a public document and it goes into depth describing the issue of health literacy, the prevalence of health literacy, and innovative approaches to addressing health literacy.
- Vision and Commitment: Your plan should include a vision statement of where you want your health literacy efforts to go. Additionally, either a statement of commitment or a request for a commitment is critical in moving the plan into actions.
- Existing Policies: It is likely that in your honest assessment of your organizational practices, you uncovered some of the existing policies that guide or create barriers for your approach to health information and services. Be sure to include those policies and ways they could be strengthened in your plan. A summary of your assessment could also be useful to help set the framework for your plan.
- Overarching Goals: Think carefully about what you want to accomplish as you begin to formulate your goals. Consider what success will look like in 1, 3 and 5 years and ensure the goals you develop will help you achieve that success. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy [PDF - 666KB] includes seven goals that may be helpful for you as you think about your organization's goals.
- Objectives: For each goal you should have some objectives that help you determine how and if you reach your goals. Good objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. For examples:
- Weak Objective: Staff will receive health literacy training.
- Stronger Objective: By March 15, 100% of the staff will have completed the CDC Health Literacy Training for Health Professionals
- Actions: While the objectives get you into more specifics than the goals, they don't tell you how you will go about implementing the objective. Detailed action steps, indicating who will do what by when are vital to the success of each objective. Clarifying these action steps up front will help ensure that everyone is clear on their roles as the plan is finalized. In addition to action steps, you should also consider what resources and partners would be necessary to implement the actions and successfully achieve the objective.
- A Workbook for Developing an Organizational Plan: Developing a plan for action is the first step in making health literacy real in your organizational practice. This easy-to-use workbook [PDF - 738KB] helps you and your organization get started in developing your own plan to change organizational and professional practices to improve health literacy. Developing a plan for action does not have to be an overwhelming process.