Nearly half of all Irish people have inadequate and problematic health literacy skills.
Limited health literacy is very common. Like general literacy, health literacy can be measure at the individual, organisational, community and population levels. Certain groups are more vulnerable. Specific vulnerable groups have much higher proportions of limited health literacy than the general population. These groups includes people with lower social status, lower levels of education and low income segments of the population.
Health literacy is an asset for individuals and communities. Investment in strengthening health literacy is likely to yield a substantial return in health and well-being at both the individual and community levels.
Goal of Health Literacy policy - Patient will be able to:
- Understand and carryout instructions for self-care including administering complex daily medical regimens.
- Plan and achieve the lifestyle adjustments required for improving their health.
- Make informed positive health-related decisions.
- Know how and when to access health care when necessary.
- Share health-promoting activities with others and address issues in the community and society.
Navigating increasingly complex health care systems is a major challenge for patients and their families. Patients face multiple literacy requirements and increasingly difficult decisions. Health literacy also affects the use of health services.
- We actively strive to understand the needs of our customers and have designed a health literacy policy that accommodates everyone.
- Overall, we have framed health literacy, not as a problem of patients but rather as a challenge to reach out and more effectively communicate with patients and citizens.
Improving the health literacy environment at Lynch’s Pharmacy:
We have designed an easy to navigate website, which facilitates an easy return to the home page.
Staff orientation and training dealing with patients requests on the phone by using scripts for frequently asked questions.
Staff orientation and training in using plain language for communicating with patients.
Policy to promote health literacy in all communication materials:
Established a policy to promote health literacy in written, multimedia and internet-based communication directed to the public, which includes enforcing plain-language approaches to health.
Vocabulary and sentence length
- Use plain language.
- Use clear and simple written and spoken language.
- Use child-friendly language.
Organisation & Structure
- Website pages and printed material designed for reading ease.
- Material checked for clarity.
Design & Development process
- Regulate the development and review of critical texts.
- We use piloting of website text information and website videos with members of the intended audience.
- Encourage and support people in asking questions.
- Pharmacy label instructions, which may reflect the most tangible source of information repeatedly viewed by patients, has explicit and easy-to-understand directions.
- Font size can be adjusted as deemed necessary by the Pharmacist.
Our health literacy policy is evaluated regularly and improved if necessary.