Assess Health Literacy in Your Organization
Your organization can’t address its health literacy issues if it doesn’t know its current situation. It’s easy to make assumptions, but you need data. Do an honest assessment to identify opportunities and barriers to make progress on health literacy.
As you conduct your assessment, engage multiple interested parties, and choose from these tools to help you get started.
Public health organizations and their partners, as well as clinical care groups, may find the following resources to be helpful. There’s still a need to help organizations address health literacy issues for the people they serve.
- HLE 2 The Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals and Health Centers: An Updated Assessment Tool for Identifying Facilitating Factors and Barriers to Information, Care, and Servicespdf iconexternal icon (Harvard School of Public Health, 2019)
- Building Health Literate Organizations: A Guidebook to Achieving Organizational Changeexternal icon(Unity Point Health, 2014)
- AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkitexternal icon(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2010)
- The Health Literacy Environment Activity Packet: First Impressions & Walking Interviewpdf iconexternal icon (Harvard School of Public Health, 2010)
- Pharmacy Health Literacy Assessment Toolexternal icon(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007)
- The Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals and Health Centers – Partners for Action: Making Your Healthcare Facility Literacy-Friendlypdf iconexternal icon(Harvard School of Public Health, 2006)
See our Find Training page for training opportunities in health literacy, plain language, and culture and communication
- CDC Clear Communication Index (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014)
- Federal Plain Language Guidelinesexternal icon (The Plain Language Action and Information Network, 2011)
See Develop Materials for additional guidance and resources for preparing materials to address health literacy.
- AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkitexternal icon(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2010)
- Questions Are the Answerexternal icon(Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality 2009)
- National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standardsexternal icon (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health) can help organizations address the cultural and language differences between the people who provide information and services and the people they serve.
See the resources below for information about accessible and usable health information, including websites.
- NIH National Library of Medicine Evidence-based Practice and Health Technology Assessment Links to Resourcesexternal icon(National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine 2011)
- Accessible Health Information Technology (IT) for Populations with Limited Literacy: A Guide for Developers and Purchasers of Health IT pdf iconexternal icon(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Resource Center for Health IT 2007)
- Improving the User Experienceexternal icon (U.S. General Services Administration, Technology Transformation Services)
See the resources below for information on how to improve the readability of consent forms and other print materials for participants in health care research.
- AHRQ Informed Consent and Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk Research (Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality 2009)external icon
- Program for Readability in Science & Medicine (PRISM) pdf iconexternal icon(Group Health Research Institute)
See Evaluate Skills & Programs for assessment tools to identify health literacy issues in your organization.
- Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2018)
- Crisis and Emergency Risk Messaging in Mass Media News Stories: Is the Public Getting the Information They Need to Protect Their Health?external icon (Health Communication 2016)