"What Did the Doctor Say?:" Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety

Organization: 
Joint Commission
Published Date: 
2007

This white paper was produced by an expert roundtable panel that was asked to frame the issues that underlie the health literacy problem in health care and propose solutions for their resolution. The white paper makes recommendations about issues such as: the impact low health literacy has on patients; the current state and quality of health care communications; health care provider and public health interventions aimed at improving health care communications; and the need to create organization cultures that place a high priority on cultural competence. The white paper is a call to action for advocates, providers and others who influence, develop or carry out policies that will lead the way to improve health literacy, reduce communications-related errors, and better support the interests of patients and providers of care alike.

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