National Academy of Medicine

Integrating Health Literacy with Health Care Performance Measurement

By Darren A. DeWalt, Jonathan McNeill
July 26, 2013 | Discussion Paper

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 health decisions. Health literacy affects health outcomes and is critical for ensuring safe, patient-centered, equitable, high-quality care. Incorporating health literacy into the health care quality agenda is an important step to help clinicians provide all patient populations with the resources necessary to improve their health status. This paper describes opportunities for health care providers to link health literacy to quality measures and integrate health literacy performance measurement into every aspect of the patient experience.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.