On this page you will find a number of videos, tutorials and guides to explain why and how to incorporate health literacy principles in your practice, as well as quick-start guides to help you get started. The following resources cover how to:
The following modules explore the importance of using lay language in health communication. They explain how to assess and improve readability of materials using clear communications techniques, as well as outline sources of health information for patients. All modules were produced by the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In the module 1 video (10.56 min), we’ll cover why you should use plain language, also known as lay language, to communicate with your patients or the general public. Contents include:
Links to resources covered in Module 1:
In the module 2 video (10.41 min), we’ll cover readability, an important component of creating materials that are understandable to people with varying health literacy levels. Contents include:
In the module 3 video (9.49 min), we’ll cover resources that can assist you in developing patient education materials. Contents include:
In the module 4 video (9.03 min), we'll cover putting plain language into practice through effective communication. Contents include:
In the module 5 video (6.23 min), we'll cover recommended free, reliable, and authoritative online sources of health information that you can refer your patients or their families to, as well as information on how the library and librarians can be of assistance. Contents include:
This video demonstrates 15 best practices for patience centered communications, organized under habits.
Watch 15 best practices for patient-centered communication (18.18 min.)
The teach-back method is a way to ensure patients understands what is being explained to them by their healthcare provider. If they understand, they are able to correctly “teach-back” the information. The following videos demonstrate various aspects of the teach-back method.
The toolkit contains two strategies, Be The Expert On You and 60 Seconds To Improve Diagnostic Safety. When paired together, these strategies enhance communication and information sharing within the patient-provider encounter to improve diagnostic safety. Each strategy contains practical materials to support adoption of the strategy within office-based practices.
This National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multi-pronged effort to improve health literacy. The plan is based on the principles that (1) everyone has the right to health information that helps them make informed decisions and (2) health services should be delivered in ways that are understandable and beneficial to health, longevity, and quality of life.
This course will help you learn to create patient education that engaging, helps people make sense of health information, and it’s easy to understand and act on.
Helps you develop intuitive health websites and digital tools that can be easily accessed and understood by all users.
Guidelines for selecting patient education materials.
These resources assist with understanding your audience, visual communication, and testing messages and materials when developing a wide array of health information.
This program is designed to improve communication between patients and health care providers, encourage patients to become active members of their health care team, and promote improved health outcomes. The program encourages patients to ask their health care providers three questions:
The purpose of this public health literacy web-based training program is to educate public health professionals about public health literacy and their role in providing health information and services and promoting public health literacy.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers 6 online health literacy courses for health professionals.