Health Literacy

Health Literacy: Healthcare Communication Competency for the Patient, Family & Clinician

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CME Information


Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Screen and measure patients’ health literacy level.
  2. Identify strategies for improving patients’ health literacy level, thereby lessening non-adherence issues, such as missed appointments and failure to fill prescriptions.
  3. Adopt communication skills to form a collaborative model of care which creates a partnership between patient and clinician that builds trust and increases patient safety.



Health literacy is the ability of an individual to understand basic health information and treatment strategies needed to self-manage health. A survey completed by the AMA-MSS Subcommittee on Health Literacy found that the strongest predictor of an individual’s health status is not associated with age, education, or income, but rather, based on literacy skills. And as many as 42% of Americans lack the skills necessary to benefit from the healthcare system. The most important factor to improve health literacy is clear communication between patient and clinician. Over time this dynamic redefines the collaborative provider/patient relationship. Steven Hahn, MD, an expert in health literacy reviews current evidence to improve literacy in patients and offers practical suggestions for effective clinician/provider interactions.


This activity has expired and is no longer available for CME; however, we hope you still enjoy the education.

Published on January 8, 2013