Low Health Literacy Links to Healthcare Spending Confirmed

An analysis of 96 studies confirms that low rates of health literacy are linked to more emergency care and hospitalizations.

2 comments on "Low Health Literacy Links to Healthcare Spending Confirmed"
K. Gibson (7/27/2011 at 9:50 AM)

Inpatient education through media such as bedside television is helpful. This, as well as placement of TVs showing the same messages in outpatient clinics is part of what is done at Henry Ford Health System. More healthcare organizations should take this simple, low-cost step. Community outreach is also needed; classes in local schools could be offered for adults in the evenings, for example. Another approach is also vital. Educate the physician, and other caregivers, to be certain their patient understands everything about their care. Sure, they'll go over instructions quickly and ask if they're understood, but many patients are too afraid, embarrassed, or intimidated to speak up. Too many leave an appointment, or are discharged from a hospital stay, with a handful of Rxs and not a clue about the medications or follow up care. I do not think more research needs done here. Spend the money instead on making it work.
Gary Kolbeck (7/26/2011 at 6:05 PM)

This finding confirms that two federal mandates[INVALID]the "reach all patients" and "close the disparity gap"[INVALID]will largely determine the success of any healthcare provider's patient engagement strategy. Many tools have the capacity to reach the ideal patient. But some of the most vulnerable and highest-cost patient groups are difficult to reach outside the care setting, making it even more important that hospitals maximize opportunities during the inpatient stay. There is no doubt that patient interaction will evolve with emerging technologies, but hospitals shouldn't postpone patient engagement strategies to the indefinite future. Instead, they can make substantial strides in engaging and empowering patients by leveraging the television currently found in every patient room. Familiar technology combined with engaging video content and an interactive system provide an ideal solution for reaching patients with low health literacy.


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