Organizational systems and policies

Organizational Systems, Policies, and Health Literacy

The organizational systems and policies domain includes skills and knowledge associated with creating health literate organizations. Developing leadership support for health literacy – the first of 10 Attributes of a Health Literate Health Care Organization, is key, as is hardwiring health literacy interventions into workflows and communicating qualitative and quantitative measures of effectiveness. A Health Literacy Specialist (HLS) working within an organization would:

  • Address the strong relationship between the social determinants of health and health literacy in action plans.
  • Integrate health literacy universal precautions throughout the organization.• Advise on the development of policies and procedures that reflect evidence-based health literacy principles.
  • Identify high-risk situations that impede understanding of health information and services, and develop strategies to remove or mitigate effects of these impediments.
  • Apply health literacy research and best practices to health programs and interventions.
  • Build organizational awareness of the consequences of limited health literacy, including the financial implications of limited health literacy and the health literacy interventions designed to address it.
  • Confirm that health literacy practices and materials comply with accreditation, standards, and regulations (e.g., CLAS, Federal Plain Writing Act, Medicaid, National Health Education Standards).
  • Evaluate health literacy outcomes of quality and performance improvement initiatives.

Take a self-guided tour of the Health Literacy Ecosystem

The Health Literacy Ecosystem offers an overview of the skills and knowledge, settings and sources, audiences, and communication formats that are foundational to our field. Navigate within and across spheres, or dive into a topic and connect to resources. We welcome your contributions.