Health literacy is the single most important predictor of a patient’s health outcome, said Dr. Eloy. He likened health literacy to changing the oil in your car. “A mechanic can tell you what they can do, but you don’t know what is best for the car,” he said. “You may not understand what they are saying, even if you are an educated person. Health literacy is compounded by making life and death decisions about one’s health.”
Explore this issue:September 2012
It may not be as easy as learning how to change the oil in one’s car, but incorporating methods to improve health communications helps improve patient compliance, which ultimately leads to healthier patients.