health literacy monthOctober is Health Literacy Month, a time to help individuals better understand their health information. Health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services need to make appropriate health decisions.”

77 million adults have basic or below basic health literacy knowledge, which can lead to issues when doing common health tasks. Often individuals cannot understand instructions on prescriptions, skip doctor’s visits or go to the emergency room when it is unnecessary.

But, the goal of Health Literacy Month is to help promote the educating of people through their health care facilities. The government has created a National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy.

Here are some quick and easy tips:

  1. Visit the government website on health literacy
  2. Communication is KEY
    1. Prior to your appointment, write down any questions you may have and always bring a list of any medications you are on.
    2. Ask questions if you are confused on any information and if needed ask for things to be written down.
    3. Don’t be afraid to reach out after your appointment, and know who to call if you would like to reach out.

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