Organizational health literacy is the degree to which an organization considers and promotes the health literacy of patients. Addressing health literacy at an organizational level has the potential to have a greater impact on more health consumers in a health system than individual-level approaches.
The purpose of this study was to assess health care practices at an academic health center using the 10 attributes of a health-literate health care organization.
Using a survey research design, the Health Literate Healthcare Organization 10-Item Questionnaire was administered online using total population sampling. Employees (N = 10 300) rated the extent that their organization's health care practices consider and promote patients' health literacy. Differences in responses were assessed using factorial analysis of variance.
The mean response was 4.7 on a 7-point Likert scale. Employee training and communication about costs received the lowest ratings. Univariate analyses revealed that there were no statistically significant differences (P = .05) by employees' health profession, years of service, or level of patient contact. There were statistically significant differences by highest education obtained with lowest ratings from employees with college degrees.
Survey responses indicate a need for improvements in health care practices to better assist patients with inadequate health literacy.