October is Health Literacy Month!
Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate and important health decisions. This is a time for organizations and individuals to promote to importance of understandable health information. The right words can make all the difference. The theme for this month is “Be a Health Literacy Hero.” CompassionCare Hospice sees just how important good communication can be. A significant gap exists between the way health care issues are communicated and the ability of most people to understand and act upon them. A person’s health literacy is influenced by a number of factors, including basic literacy skills, the communication skills of health professionals, and the situations one encounters in the health care system. And when we say all people are Faffected, we don’t just mean those with limited reading skills or people for whom English is a second language. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy estimates that nearly 9 out of 10 adults has difficulty using routine health information. CompassionCare Hospice as well as many other health care facilities are trying to improve these numbers.