CHA News Article

NPSF Offers Tools for Engaging Patients in Health Literacy Dialogue

To mark Health Literacy Month this October, the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) encourages organizations to try its Ask Me 3® program. Designed to open dialogue between patients and providers — and help patients become active members of the health care team — the program encourages patients to ask three key questions when receiving care: What is my main problem?; What do I need to do?; Why is it important for me to do this?

NPSF cites a 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, which shows only 53 percent of U.S. consumers are at the intermediate level of health literacy, with 47 percent falling below the intermediate level. Studies show that individuals who understand health instructions make fewer mistakes when they take their medicine or prepare for a medical procedure, according to NPSF. Patients may also get well sooner or be able to better manage a chronic health condition. For additional tools, including a complimentary video to share with patients, visit the NPSF website. To purchase Ask Me 3 materials in English and Spanish, visit the NPSF store.