Health Care Providers and Systems
What You Need to Know
Health care providers are a community’s gateway to many health services. Providers, health care systems, and pharmacists are also trusted sources of information for many people. The resources on this page can help you recognize and respond to patients’ information and communication needs. The resources may also help other individuals and organizations identify common interests and opportunities to work with health care providers, health services organizations, and pharmacists.
- HHS Child and Adolescent Health Emergency Planning Toolkit (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2023)
Health care providers and public health professionals who serve children and teens with special health care needs can use this toolkit to help patients and their families access high-quality services before, during, and after an emergency. The toolkit includes a module on communication.
- Improving Healthcare Access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals (Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing [RICDHH])
As part of RICDHH’s Healthcare System Transformation Project, six Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) health professionals developed videos to help their colleagues better understand how to provide health services to the DHH community. The interview with Dr. Michael McKee includes discussions of health information accessibility, health literacy, health disparities, and telehealth.
- Providing Health Literate Virtual Health Services: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2022)
These proceedings summarize strategies for delivering health-literate virtual health services. The proceedings also summarize best practices for helping to ensure that people with low health literacy can get, understand, and act on health information and services provided via telehealth.
- Patient Education Practice Guidelines for Health Care Professionals (Health Care Education Association 2020)
These guidelines provide concise directions for frontline health care professionals to deliver effective patient education.
Health Literacy and Clear Communication Best Practices for Telemedicine (Coleman, Health Literacy Research and Practice 2020)
This article describes best practices for telephonic and two-way video encounters between providers and patients.
- Patient Engagement and Education (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ] 2020)
This web page lists and describes AHRQ resources to help health care professionals educate their patients and involve patients in their care.
- Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Health Literacy Item Sets (AHRQ 2012)
This survey asks about providers’ efforts to foster and improve the health literacy of patients.
- Creating a Culture of Health (The District of Columbia Healthy Communities Collaborative 2019)
This document, developed via a collaboration among local hospitals, community health centers, and community members, includes strategies to improve health literacy, mental health, place-based care, and care coordination.
- HLE2: The Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals and Health Centers (Harvard School of Public Health 2019)
This is a tool to identify and assess facilitating factors and barriers to health information, care, and services
- Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2010)
This toolkit can help primary care practices reduce the complexity of health care, increase patient understanding of health information, and enhance support for patients of all health literacy levels.
- How Well Do Your Patients Understand? Improving the Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals (Health Literacy Wisconsin 2010)
This is a case study that tested a collaborative model between a hospital and adult literacy students to identify health literacy barriers.
- Improving the Health Literacy of Hospitals: A Collaborative Guide for Literacy Organizations (Health Literacy Wisconsin 2010)
This case study describes the processes necessary to cultivate a successful collaboration between hospitals and literacy organizations in order to improve the health literacy environment for patients.
- Making Prescription Labels Easier to Understand (Pharmacy Times 2021)
This article describes an initiative in Wisconsin to make prescription medication labels easier for patients to understand. Related videos include the following:
- How to Adopt USP Labeling Standards to Increase Health Equity, an interview with representatives from US Pharmacopeia and Wisconsin Health Literacy on implementation of the initiative
- Better Prescription Medication Labels = Better Health: Using a Patient-Centered Approach to Improve Medication Understanding and Adherence, a video poster presentation that describes how the initiative led to adoption of more understandable medication labels by 245 Wisconsin pharmacies
- AHRQ Pharmacy Health Literacy Center (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2013)
This site provides pharmacists with health literacy tools and other resources from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. You may want to explore the entire site or these pages:
- Explicit and Standardized Prescription Medicine Instructions, tested instructions for pills that follow the Universal Medication Schedule (UMS). The UMS simplifies complex medicine regimens by using standard time periods for administration (morning, noon, evening, and bedtime). Translated instructions provided in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
- Health Literacy Tools for Providers of Medication Therapy Management, a set of tools designed to improve communication with patients enrolled in medication therapy management, a patient-centric and comprehensive approach to improve medication use, reduce the risk of adverse events, and improve medication adherence.
- Pharmacy Health Literacy Assessment Tool captures perspectives of three critical audiences: objective auditors, pharmacy staff, and patients.