Lourdes Receives Grant to Support Health Literacy
The Lourdes Health System was recently awarded $25,000 from the Aetna Foundation in support of the health system's Health Literacy Initiative. Health literacy is the ability to understand health information and to use that information to make good decisions about your health and medical care.
Health information can overwhelm even people with advanced literacy skills. About one-third of the adult population in the United States has limited health literacy. Limited health literacy can affect your ability to:
- fill out complex forms;
- locate providers and services;
- share personal information such as health history;
- take care of yourself;
- manage a chronic disease;
- understand how to take medicines.
Health literacy also includes numeric skills. For example, calculating cholesterol and blood sugar levels, measuring medication and understanding nutrition labels all require math skills. Choosing between health plans or comparing prescription drug coverage requires calculating premiums, copays and deductibles.
The funds will be used to educate staff to improve patient communications, understanding and outcomes.