6 Dimensions of a health literate organisation

It is helpful to understand the different dimensions of health literacy. This framework, informed by international best practice, identifies 6 dimensions and has been used in the development of the health literacy review guide.

Health literate organisation 1. Leadership and management 2. Consumer involvement 3. Workforce 4. Meeting needs of population 5. Access and navigation 6. Communication

1. Leadership and management

Questions to consider when thinking about this dimension:

  • How is health literacy an organisational value, part of the culture and core business of an organisation or service, and how is it reflected in strategic and operational plans?

2. Consumer involvement

Questions to consider when thinking about this dimension:

  • How are consumers involved in the design, development and evaluation of the organisation’s values, vision, structure and service delivery?

3. Workforce

Questions to consider when thinking about this dimension:

  • How is the health workforce encouraged and supported to develop effective health literacy practices?
  • Are the workforce’s health literacy development and capacity needs identified, and is the organisation’s health literacy performance evaluated?

4. Meeting the needs of the population

Questions to consider when thinking about this dimension:

  • How does service delivery ensure that consumers with low health literacy are able to participate effectively in their care and have their health literacy needs identified and met (without stigmatisation or being labelled as having low health literacy)?
  • How is meeting the needs of the population monitored?

5. Access and navigation

Questions to consider when thinking about this dimension:

  • How easy is it for consumers to find and engage with appropriate and timely health and related services?
  • What assistance is available to help consumers find and engage with these services?
  • How well are services coordinated, and are services streamlined where possible?

6. Communication

Questions to consider when thinking about this dimension:

  • How are information needs identified?
  • How is information shared with consumers in ways that improve health literacy?
  • How is information developed with consumers and evaluated?
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