‘Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.’
Health literacy : the capacity to
to obtain, process, and understand basic health information & services
make appropriate health decisions (act on the information received)
access/navigate the healthcare system efficiently.
From birth to mortality & all the in-between medical knowledge, health literacy affects nearly every aspect of health. Calculating the degree of literacy, low health literacy is a barrier to effective patient care. Let us look into this subject with a little more background & try to build a logic behind the importance of adequate health literacy.
What happens with patients with low/wrong health literacy?
They have less knowledge about their medical conditions
They make less use of preventive health services
They might find difficulty in disease self-management
Having less familiarity with the medical context can land them in doubting their own treatment.
They might hesitate in asking questions of their health concern; ultimately risking their care & cure.
What happens with patients with apt health literacy?
First and foremost, the disparity between care provided & cure encountered gets visibly decreased.
They get a lot closer to become a center-point of care which enables a patient to actively participate (according to his needs & preferences) in his own treatment'
Literacy gives information & power of acceptance which essentially allows them to take calculated health decisions.
A patient's trust in the doctor gets enhanced & his suggestions/advice gets more likely to be considered.
Their knowledge & aware mindset can help a healthcare professional’s treatment work for them better.
A health literate person spreads his knowledge amongst his peers/friends/family that spreads literacy and thus creates a literate ecosystem. They become potential pillars of the healthcare system as literacy adds strength to the system.
Relation between health literacy & patient satisfaction
Patient satisfaction is measured based on how happy the patients are with the healthcare provided by the professionals inside (offline) or outside (online) the clinic. What makes the patient happy is his ultimate cure to the ailment.
So how does health literacy come into picture? Well, it is the whole basis. When a patient holds his own knowledge about health, listening about it from a doctor either adds to his authentic information or clears his misconceptions if any. Thus it creates a win-win situation for both the sides.
An informed & involved patient helps himself in a speedy recovery eventually increasing his own healthcare satisfaction.
Thus, a sequence seems to be formed here-
Health literacy leads to patient awareness that leads to the patient being involved in his treatment which then accelerates the recovery rate which becomes the most considered factor for patient satisfaction.
Why is patient satisfaction important in a healthcare provider’s practice?
To state it clear, a satisfied patient is an asset to any healthcare provider. It brings up two major benefits- provider’s goal of helping patients cure is achieved & a positive word of mouth about the provider starts floating which eventually gets more referrals.
Nth Sense strives to become the epitome of health