Talking Points About Health Literacy

people discussing health literacy

Advocate for building a health literate organization

As a health literacy ambassador, it’s up to you to make sure your colleagues, staff, senior leadership, and community leaders understand the importance of using health literacy concepts. Use these talking points when making the case for building a health literate organization. Add talking points relevant to your organization.

  1. Nearly nine out of 10 adults struggle to understand and use personal and public health information when it’s filled with unfamiliar or complex terms.
  2. Limited health literacy costs the healthcare system money and results in higher than necessary morbidity and mortality. Improving health literacy could prevent nearly 1 million hospital visits and save over $25 billion a year.
  3. We can improve health literacy if we practice clear communication strategies and techniques. Clear communication means presenting familiar concepts, words, numbers, and images in ways that make sense to the people who need the information.
  4. Testing information products with your intended audience and asking for feedback are the best ways to know if you’re communicating clearly. Test and ask for feedback before releasing information to the public.
  5. Clear communication builds trust with your audience. When your audience trusts you, they’re more likely to follow your recommendations.
  6. Choosing to use jargon is an act of exclusion. Using clear communication advances health equity.
  7. Clear communication streamlines the translation process. That means you can more quickly share your information with people who are non-native English speakers and readers.

Please send ideas for additional talking points to us using our Contact Form.