The American Academy of Nursing is calling on nurses to better support patient education and patient health literacy as a part of the organization’s annual policy brief.
“Health literacy is a precursor to health and achievement of a culture of health,” the group wrote in the brief. “Patient empowerment, engagement, activation, and maximized health outcomes will not be achieved unless assurance of health literacy is applied universally for every patient, every time, in every health care encounter, and across all environments of care.”
Patient health literacy is loosely defined as the ability for patients to understand and use health terminology and concepts to become more activated in their own health. Touted as a key social determinant of health, patient health literacy could be the difference between a patient who is able to manage their own chronic illness and one who cannot.