Have you ever lost your health?
Health is personal, and so are the words we use to talk about it. Have you ever lost your health? Many years ago, I lost mine. It was a roller coaster. A scary diagnosis plunges you from the heights of “normalcy” to the depths of fear and confusion. When you’re in this kind of spot, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. Or what school you attended. Or even how many books you’ve read.
Comprehension? Out the window. Intelligent decisions? Not assumed. Anger and other extremes? Not invited to the party, but pretty adamant about getting in. For anyone dealing with a chronic or an acute health problem, life can be complex and confusing. The information we create for health should not be.
What’s your call to action?
What actions are you asking people to take? Refill medicine? Stop smoking? Talk with their doctor? Make a lifestyle change? Call a phone number for help? Make a choice about benefits coverage? Get a health screening? There are any number of healthy calls to action.
Putting health literacy at the center of all you do as a health care organization can help you meet a variety of goals, from decreasing calls to customer service to preventing gaps in treatment. After all, how can people do as you suggest for their health when they don’t understand:
- What they should do
- Why they should do it
- How they can succeed
There really is no limit to the value you can provide and enjoy by focusing on health literacy in your overall communication strategy. Your goals of understanding and action should inform every step of the patient or member journey.
Health literacy can save lives, save money, and improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans.”
~Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.
Do you have questions about how focusing on health literacy can provide value for your audience and organization as a whole? Let’s talk.