Improving Health Literacy
Case Management Toolbox Podcast
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUs Counseling CEUs
~ Define health literacy
~ Explain why health literacy is important
~ Explore health literacy in a recovery oriented system of care
~ Identify at least 5 ways to improve health literacy

What is a ROSC
~ Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) is a coordinated network of community-based resources that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resilience of individuals, families, and communities to achieve improved health, wellness, and quality of life
~ In order to access and benefit from these services, people must have a high level of health literacy
~ Case Managers and clinicians can work together in communities to identify
~ Needs and resources to prevent health and mental health issues
~ Needs and resources to recover from health and mental health issues

What is Health Literacy
~ Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand basic health information to make appropriate health decisions.
~ Includes math skills to manage levels, understand risks, measure medication, understand nutrition labels and even manage insurance.
~ Includes general health information about requirements for good health including exercise, sleep, nutrition and regular checkups as well as ways to prevent or mitigate common risk factors for disease
~ Only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy, or the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease.
What is Health Literacy
~ Health literacy (what a person needs to know and how to help them understand and use that information) is dependent on:
~ Communication skills of lay persons and professionals
~ Lay and professional knowledge of health topics
~ Demands of the situation/context
~ Health literacy affects people's ability to:
~ Find information and services
~ Communicate their needs and preferences and respond to information and services
~ Process the meaning and usefulness of the information and services
~ Understand the choices and consequences of the information and services
~ Decide which information and services they need and take action

Health Literacy Skills
~ Anyone who provides health information and services needs health literacy skills to
~ Help people find information and services
~ Effectively communicate information about health promotion and conditions to people of varying ages, cultures and cognitive abilities.(teach back)
~ Understand what people are explicitly and implicitly asking for
~ Decide which information and services work best for different situations and people so they can act

Health Literate Services
~ A Health Literate Case Manager or Clinician
~ Integrates health literacy into planning, evaluation measures, patient safety, and quality improvement
~ Has a high level of health literacy
~ Works with clients in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the service plan
~ Uses health literacy strategies in communications and confirms understanding
~ Provides easy access to health information and services
~ Designs and distributes print, audiovisual, and social media content that is easy to understand and act on.
~ Regularly addresses health literacy in high-risk situations, including care transitions and medication changes
~ Communicates clearly what services are available free and cost
Health Literate Services
~ A Health Literate Case Manager or Clinician
~ Integrates health literacy into planning, evaluation measures, patient safety, and quality improvement
~ Evaluate client understanding of the condition, treatment options, and services available at admission
~ Evaluate client’s understanding of general health and wellness behaviors
~ Assess client’s ability to seek out, obtain and use health-related information
~ Ensure clients understand what evaluations are asking of them
~ Identify obstacles to client health literacy and set goals for improvement (unclear videos, handouts with small type, lack of clear way to transition knowledge to practice– “It is important to get enough sleep.”)

Health Literate Services
~ Promote changes in the health care system that improve health information, communication, informed decision-making, and access to health services
~ Educate patients
~ Provide choice
~ Support and expand local efforts to provide adult education (English and math), and culturally and linguistically appropriate health information services in the community.
~ Support efforts to provide services in people’s native language
~ Build partnerships, develop guidance, and change policies
~ Schools, churches,
~ Increase basic research and the development, implementation, and evaluation of practices and interventions to improve health literacy
Good Resources
~ Develop and disseminate health and safety information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable…
~ Use plain language instead of technical terminology or confusing statistics in communications (1 in 10) (1 in 1000 vs 1/10th of a percent)
~ Organize information so that the most important points come first
~ Break complex information into understandable chunks
~ Ensure recommendations and explanations of risk and benefits are clear, concrete, understandable to the person
~ Advocate to increase accuracy of health information in all media programming
Good Resources
~ Develop and disseminate health and safety information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable (Print, audiovisual, and electronic media)
~ Use multiple modes of communication, not just text (videos (importance of nutrition in prevention and recovery), pictures (food pyramid), experiential (measuring food))
~ A focus on translating information from increased awareness to specific steps for action and behavioral changes. (Sleep, physical activity)
~ Respect cultural preferences and practices when targeting and tailoring information and interventions
~ Involve members of the target population in planning, developing, implementing, disseminating, and evaluating effectiveness of information.
Dissemination Strategies
~ School curricula—daycare-college
~ YouTube
~ Social Media
~ Podcasts
~ Handouts from MDs, pharmacists, CMs, counselors, teachers, etc.
~ News Broadcast “Minutes”
~ Local magazine columns
~ Mobile Apps
~ Health Fairs
~ Church circulars
~ Libraries
~ T-Shirts
~ Peer facilitated education

~ Where else does your population frequent?

What Do People Need to Know
~ Basic health promotion behaviors and how to implement them
~ Basic health needs by developmental stage
~ Parenting and Self-Parenting Skills
~ Basic coping and distress tolerance skills
~ Basic math and reading skills to manage nutrition and medication
~ Time management skills
~ Communication and assertiveness skills including self-advocacy

What Do People Need to Know
~ How to identify and mitigate risk and enhance protective factors for development of mood disorders, addictive behaviors and stress-related health conditions including adverse childhood experiences
~ How to access accurate, understandable health-related information to identify wellness behaviors as well as symptoms of mental health, addictive or physical health problems (self-advocacy)
~ How to identify community based resources (support groups, housing, medical care, transportation, childcare, respite services, etc.)
~ Risks and effects of use of pornography, gambling, internet games, substances

~ Health literacy is imperative to empower people to take charge of their health and wellbeing.
~ As clinicians and case mangers we need to ensure clients understand their current condition, the causes and treatment options and use that information to make an informed choice about what to do next
~ In the spirit of beneficence, we can also advocate for preventative steps to enhance health literacy from birth.