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Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations

Learn about the “Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations” in the IOM’s Discussion Paper.


1) Has leadership that makes health literacy integral to its mission, structure, and operations.
2) Integrates health literacy into planning, evaluation measures, patient safety, and quality improvement.
3) Prepares the workforce to be health literate and monitors progress.
4) Includes populations served in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health information and services.
5) Meets the needs of populations with a range of health literacy skills while avoiding stigmatization.
6) Uses health literacy strategies in interpersonal communications and confirms understanding at all points of contact.
7) Provides easy access to health information and services and navigation assistance.
8) Designs and distributes print, audiovisual, and social media content that is easy to understand and act on.
9) Addresses health literacy in high-risk situations, including care transitions and communications about medicines.
10) Communicates clearly what health plans cover and what individuals will have to pay for services.

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