Marianjoy Library

Health Literacy

Information Literacy is …
"...a set of abilities enabling individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." [American Library Association, 1989]

Health Literacy is...

“Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”

Healthy People 2010 & Affordable Care Act

American Medical Association (AMA)
In 1998, the American Medical Association (AMA) became the first national medical organization to adopt policy recognizing that limited patient literacy affects medical diagnosis and treatment. More>>>

  • AMA Health Literacy Kits can be purchased through the AMA and includes: an instructional video on DVD and CD-ROM; an in-depth manual for clinicians (PDF); Continuing Medical Education credit; additional resources for education and involvement

Improving Health Literacy
|Health.gov (ODPHP)

Provides health literacy and health information related resources, tools, research and reports. More>>>

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

" The toolkit offers primary care practices a way to assess their services for health literacy considerations, raise awareness of the entire staff, and work on specific areas." More>>>

Other Helpful Resources

Health Literacy

National Network of Libraries of Medicine


Health Literacy Studies

Harvard School of Public Health

Health Literacy Studies Resources

Harvard School of Public Health
In this section, you will find full-text resources particularly important in applying health literacy to your work

Health Literacy

MedlinePlus, A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Health Literacy

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Center’s mission is to promote literacy and communication for individuals of all ages with disabilities.

Health Literacy Improvement
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion

Provides links to government resources, reports and research, and tools for improving health literacy

MLA's health information literacy resources: More>>> 

'What Did the Doctor Say?:' Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety
Joint Commission; February 27, 2007


Health information can confuse anyone. Clear health communication helps us better understand and act on health information.
Patients and Families ; Public Health Professionals

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