Get Better Health – and Health Care!
What’s an easy and low cost way to improve your health and receive the best possible health care?
Improve your health literacy.
What is health literacy?
It’s a catchall term that includes most of the ways you deal with your health and health care. We define health literacy as “the ability to find and understand basic health and medical information so that you can make smart choices about your health and health care.”
These are the same types of smart choices we already make in other areas of our life; we just don’t always know to make them when dealing with our health and health care.
Few of us keep milk past its expiration date, but many of us are keeping (and using!) old, expired medications. Few of us rely on memory alone when getting directions, but most of us do just that when the nurse gives us post-operation instructions. Few of us quietly agree if someone talks to us in a foreign language, but haven’t we all nodded politely to a doctor who uses a medical term we’ve never heard before?
Do any of these examples sound like you? If so, you are not alone. Nearly one out of two people struggle with understanding basic health and medical information or has trouble dealing with the health care system. It’s a common problem and it can have a big impact on your life. In fact, it is more likely to affect how healthy you are than your age, race, income, or education level.
Check out Tips for You to help you make the most out of your health and health care, and improve your health literacy.