Unit 3 Appropriate Communication And Health Literacy In The Health Care Environment Level 5 Regent College B TECH HND


The communication at health care is an essential element which aids professionals and customers in providing and taking services. The interpersonal or mass communication is vital for an individual in the health care department. Skills and abilities of a person or team helps in resolving health issues of customers. Therefore, health literacy plays an important role in building skills and abilities of workers at health care. Thus, the essay encompasses the various importance of health literacy and communication which will shape the future of an health care organization. Health literacy interlink individuals as well as there health care environment so as to perform better. Low health literacy is a common problem in Australia, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that 59% of Australians aged 15-74 do not have the adequate health literacy skills needed to effectively access health services and manage their life's (Communicating with patients: improving health literacy and outcomes, 2017).

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Health communication and literacy helps organizations to control decision making and practice empowerment (Gazmararian and, 2012). It makes an individual capable enough to process and understand the basic health amenities at a health care. Health literacy is a newer phenomenon which is basically low in developing countries and needs to be evolved so as to provide better health facilities. Health literacy and communication are now a days vital in any care setting so as to enhance quality of services rendered to people. Awareness of health literacy is rapidly increasing impacting the health services provided by professionals. People are actively taking part in knowing about health aspects with growing education and literacy rate all over the world.

Both communication and literacy are vital in a health care department and their effectiveness brings out better health outcomes. Communication bing physicians and health professionals to their patients as very crucial data about health needs to be given in a correct manner to the respective patient (Riley, Cloonan and Rogan, 2008). Doctors are responsible for keeping confidentiality of information related to their patients. For instance, doctors communicate with child patient in a friendly and cordial manner thereby providing them a soothing environment. Thus, the importance of effective communication is vital in a health care organization.

They are crucial in building up good and positive health relation with the respected patients thereby meeting their needs and desires (Lorenzen, Melby and Earles, 2008). It helps in taking and giving information to people who are taking the health care services by health professionals. These communications could be in the form of face to face, in group, formal, informal or written communication whichever is suitable at the point of time. Though generally a formal type of communication is done in a health care organization as such a communication creates a healthy environment where patients feel comfortable as respect is shown by the doctors or physicians. Another kind of communication that is written communication is basic in a health care organization as it helps in keeping records and reports for a day. For such a communication education play a major role and thus calls for health literacy. It has a vital impact on the individual as they want to know about their own health status and medical condition.

A person having low health literacy my have week communication skills and abilities to understand his or her doctors view point regarding their health status (Lorenzen, Melby and Earles, 2008). People with low knowledge about health may end up leading a difficult and vulnerable life as they are unaware about particular diseases which might be dangerous due to lack of health consciousness. Future interventions should be expanded to include methods for improving popular health literacy through school-based health education directed at children and adolescents as well as through more general efforts directed at adults. Improved education about health could enhance the ability and motivation of individuals to solve personal and public health problems by enabling them to apply skills in response to various health problems arising throughout life.

On the other hand, health literacy has also a major role which is needed to have a positive communication in a care setting organization (Gazmararian and, 2012). It is known as the people with low level knowledge about health spend a huge amounts on vaccination and treatments of diseases and injuries. A person with the ability to read and understand the basic level health issues have the capacity to make use of health care services, and they can manage their health by lifestyle modification and by increasing their living standards at an individual and community level. Appropriate knowledge about health helps people to take better decision regarding their own health status leading a healthy and happy lifestyle (Casida, 2008).

Impact of low health literacy

  • Higher rate of visiting hospitals
  • Extra use of health services implies extra expenses
  • High rate of mortality and worse health conditions (Lorenzen, Melby and Earles, 2008)
  • More prone to diseases especially by elders and children
  • Enhances overall expenditure of government
  • Low level lifestyle and less knowledge
  • No knowledge about their own health
  • High rate of depression issue and higher risk of overall health

There are ways to promote health literacy among people and government are initializing programs to help people educate on health services (Riley, Cloonan and Rogan, 2008). Every government is providing health awareness programs regarding dangerous diseases and flu's which people needs to incorporate in their daily life thereby raising life expectancy especially of poor people. Low knowledge of health issues makes people and patients uncomfortable to talk about it from their respected physicians or doctors and thus end up with less information and ill treatment (Kountz, 2009).

Many hospitals and doctors now a days take medical classes to give proper know how to their patients and service users in a simple and basic manner to make them understand the value of health and its treatment (Sarkar and et al., 2008). It is believed that the health related information should be provided in a clear and concise manner as well as in a friendly manner through face to face interaction as visuals and body expressions are easy to understand. Measures have been taken by health providers such as nurses and others by creating a healthy environment for people to interact and discuss health issues with their respective doctors in an open and friendly manner (Lorenzen, Melby and Earles, 2008).

It has become necessary to understand the importance and level of health literacy provided by health professional in care setting whether big or small. Two majorly used programs have been adopted to educate patients and families about health and its measures. These are REALM and TOFHLA. Theses scales measures health knowledge of a person in a limited way so as to assure them there there disease has been cured with the sufficient amount of treatment (Brousseau and, 2009).

Various cultural barriers affects communication in a health care setting. Culture is inseparable part of communication and like minded culture enhance communication whereas different cultures affect vital sharing of information thereby disconnecting people form each other. Thus effective communication can improve quality of health care thereby providing health information to patients enhancing their health literacy.

Impact of effective communication on health

  • Prevents death rate and cures disability effectively
  • Helps in soothing patients in a formal way
  • Efficient services with accurate health measures
  • Enhances individual quality care
  • Empowerment people (Sarkar and et al., 2008)

The healthcare system erroneously assumes a simple foundation of medical understanding by its consumers. There is a high correlation between low literacy and overall health. The mid point of poor health literacy and health is manifold: access to care managing illness and distilling information (Brousseau and, 2009). The causes of low literacy aren't fully understood. Indeed the ones for correcting the imbalance is squarely upon healthcare professionals in their struggle to allocate scarce medical resources, improve care quality , and utilise the overall health of patients. To communicate with low literacy individuals is nearly overwhelming (Lorenzen, Melby and Earles, 2008). Many strategies include increasing patient engagement, developing awareness and information, assessing an individuals comprehension to improve someone understanding, revising document readability, expanding media formats that separate the information , and identifying non credible websites on the internet. The patient advocate in particular can be a filled between clinician and patient through improved communication and comprehension skills, raised awareness, accessible information, and publishing research that demonstrates the prevalence and hazards of compromised erudition (Lorenzen, Melby and Earles, 2008).

Communication in healthcare is most essential what they are providing great patient care and improving the satisfaction of the patient (Sarkar and et al., 2008). The lines of communication can be frequently crossed and lead to lower patient satisfaction score, illness or worse (Brousseau and, 2009). Each and every patient who comes to hospital has a team of people who are involved in providing care throughout their caring process, from doctor to housekeeping and culinary teams.

By optimising the hospitality methodologies and principals, they need to most effectively communicate with patients they serve. They teach how to communicate and the guidelines that empower them to initiate a meaningful connection with the patients they serve (Gazmararian and, 2012).

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The above essay depicts the importance of effective and vital communication as well as knowledge about health perspectives by service users. Communication play an important role in delivering proper health care measures to public thereby enhancing their living rate and standard of life. Health literacy is growing at an increasing rate during the last few years. It is important to an individual as his or her health is vital as a human being. Health education protect individuals by taking up regular health check-ups and treatments so as to facilitate proper development. Such an approach would seek to control the causes of health problems, including eliminating the barriers that prevent individuals with limited health literacy from participating in the healthcare process and improving the health literacy of the population as a whole.

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  • Gazmararian, J. A. and, 2012. Functional health literacy and the risk of hospital admission among Medicare managed care enrollees. American Journal of Public Health. 92(8). 1278–1283.
  • Baker, D. W. and, 2017. Health literacy and mortality among elderly persons. Archives of Internal Medicine.167(14). 1503–1509.
  • Brousseau, D. C. and, 2009. Primary care quality and subsequent emergency department utilization for children in Wisconsin Medicaid. Academic Pediatrics. 9(1):33–39.
  • Casida, J., 2008. Linking nursing unit’s culture to organizational effectiveness: a measurement tool. Nursing Economic. 26(2). 106–110.
  • Kountz, D. S., 2009. Strategies for improving low health literacy. Postgraduate Medicine. 121(5). 171–177.
  • Lorenzen, B. Melby, C. E. and Earles, B., 2008. Using principles of health literacy to enhance the informed consent process. AORN Journal. 88(1). 23–29.
  • Riley, J. Cloonan, P. and Rogan, E., 2008. Improving student understanding of health literacy through experiential learning. The Journal of Health Administration Education. 25(3). 213–228.
  • Sarkar, U. and et al., 2008. Preferences for self-management support: findings from a survey of diabetes patients in safety-net health systems. Patient Education and Counseling. 70(1):102–110.
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