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Physicians Called to Advance Health Literate Organizations

A pharmacist explains a label to a patient

The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a commentary this month that gives physicians guidance on their role in implementing health literate health care organizations. Physicians’ responsibilities to address health literacy are not restricted to improving the clinical encounter, declared authors Cindy Brach, Benard Dreyer, and Dean Schillinger. For health care organizations to become health literate, physicians must also be willing to serve as health literacy champions.

The authors detail actions physicians can take to implement each of the ten attributes of health literate health care organizations, as described in an Institute of Medicine discussion paper by Brach et al. The article also points readers to the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit to help physicians lead their practices in implementing health literacy universal precautions.

Access the commentary, Physicians’ Roles in Creating Health Literate Organizations: A Call to Action at: http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/971/art%253A10.1007%252Fs11606-013-2619-6.pdf?auth66=1392224038_081914330454b30acba3690809766fb9&ext=.pdf 

To access Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations, go to: http://iom.edu/~/media/Files/Perspectives-Files/2012/Discussion-Papers/BPH-Health-Lit-10-Attributes-of-Health-Lit-Orgs.pdf

To access the Health Literacy Universal PrecautionsToolkit, go to: http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/literacy-toolkit/index.html

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