"The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy envisions a restructuring of the ways we create and disseminate all types of health information in this country. The plan also calls us to ensure that all children graduate with health literacy skills that will help them live healthier throughout their lifespan. " From the Forward by Howard k. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Health. Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. Washington, DC: Author.
A Proposed ‘Health Literate Care Model’ Would Constitute A Systems Approach To Improving Patients’ Engagement In Care. By Howard K. Koh, Cindy Brach, Linda M. Harris and Michael L. Parchman. Author Manuscript at: HHS Public Access, PubMed Central. Published in final edited form as: Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Feb;32(2):357-67. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1205. PMID: 23381529.
The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. It addresses the health literacy aspects of patient care within its accreditation and certification standards, e.g. requiring hospitals to assess a patient's learning needs including barriers and limitations, then tailoring patient education accordingly.
It published “What Did the Doctor Say?:” Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety" as a call to action on this important aspect of patient safety and quality of care. Published in 2007, the Joint Commission considers this a historical health equity document but it continues to provide compelling insights into the problem of health literacy and offers still relevant solutions.