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Book chapter provides strategies and tips for addressing health literacy

Addressing health literacy is an important component of improving patient safety, and patients and families can bolster health literacy's contribution to creating a safe care experience, notes Cindy Brach, of the Center for Organization, Delivery, and Markets, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in a recent book chapter. Ms. Brach and coauthor, Cezanne Garcia, M.P.H., of the University of Washington, provide strategies and tips for addressing health literacy, and examples of provider organizations working with patients and their families. The chapter is in the newly published book, Engaging Patients as Safety Partners.

The authors review techniques for helping patients and families understand and act on patient safety information, as well as techniques for including them as partners in the patient safety process. They also describe health literacy organizational assessment tools such as the Pharmacy Health Literacy Assessment Tool and the forthcoming Health Literacy CAHPS® [Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems] instrument. Finally, they offer tips for building a health literacy curriculum and including patients and families as training partners.

More details are in "Integrating health literacy into patient safety partnerships," by Ms. Brach and Ms. Garcia, in Engaging Patients as Safety Partners: A Guide for Reducing Errors and Improving Satisfaction (editor: Patrice L. Spath); Chicago: Health Forum Inc., 2008.

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