Doctor of Nursing Practice
Constance H. Glenn, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE
Michele Derbyshire, RN, MSN
Health literacy is the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate healthcare decisions and follow instructions for treatment. Patients with low health literacy have been predicted to have poor health outcomes. The inclusion of the single-item literacy tool into the admission process of this project involved the patient-centered-care characteristics of improved patient experience, lower health cost, improved clinical experience, and better outcomes.
The National Action Plan to improve Health Literacy seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked multi-sector effort to improve health literacy. Low health literacy can result
in patients' misunderstanding of instructions regarding their medications, disease trajectory, and health decision-making process. Low health literacy can also cause patients to have feelings of shame, thereby hindering them from seeking assistance as needed.
This paper focused on adults 65 years and older who were prescribed cardiovascular medications. Incorporating the single-item literacy tool into the admission process in a medical-surgical unit in a small community hospital was central to the project. The use of the tool determined the health literacy comprehension of the patient. It also alerted the staff to the need for appropriate education regarding the medication indication, side effects, and adverse drug reactions. A few limitations were noted during the process that was unexpected and unavoidable. The rapid staff turnover due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the size of the facility, and the staff's lack of understanding of the literacy tool were issues of concern.
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Wiles, U. (2022). Reducing medication non-adherence with improved health literacy interventions: An evidence-based practice quality improvement project [Unpublished DNP project]. Sacred Heart University.
Available for download on Saturday, February 04, 2023