Health Literacy Provider Training and Patient Satisfaction
Ninety million Americans lack the health literacy skills required to adequately manage their health while healthcare professionals lack the formal training to appropriately address the needs of low health literate patients. Individuals with limited literacy skills have overall poorer health, more hospitalizations, less use of preventive care services, and decreased knowledge regarding health information. The purpose of this health literacy project was to determine if an evidence based provider health literacy training intervention improved patient satisfaction scores at a rural primary care clinic. This pilot project utilized a quasi-experimental study design comparing the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey satisfaction scores of patients regarding provider communication pre and post intervention. The target population was the adult patients of a primary care provider, and formal health literacy training was provided to the healthcare professional to improve competencies regarding the health literacy of patients. The outcome measured was patient satisfaction CAHPS® scores. Results of the project found that participants reported an improvement in their satisfaction with the provider’s communication in regards to the use of medical terminology following the health literacy training. When individuals with limited health literacy are properly identified, communication and education can be tailored to their health literacy level to empower adults to adequately manage their own health, decreasing the social burden of misuse of medical resources, improving health outcomes, and ultimately decreasing healthcare costs.
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