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8/3/21, 5:11 PM
Information flows are one of the most important leverage points. Meadows (2008) stated, Leverage points are places in the system where a small change could lead to a large shift in behavior. (p.145). Meadows (2008) stated, missing information flows is one of the most common causes of system malfunction. (p.158).
The leverage point of information flows could be used in health literacy. Health literacy is currently one of the public health initiatives nationwide. According to the CDC, Nearly nine out of 10 adults struggle to understand and use personal and public health information when its filled with unfamiliar or complex terms. Limited health literacy costs the healthcare system money and results in higher than necessary morbidity and mortality. Improving health literacy could prevent nearly 1 million hospital visits and save over $25 billion a year. (para.2).
The definition of health literacy was recently changed for individuals and organizations in August 2020. The new changes were implemented to place more of an emphasis on individuals not just being able to understand information but also the ability to use the information to make informed health decisions. The changes also reflect healthcare organizations responsibility to address health literacy. (CDC 2021).
Healthcare organizations promoting and individuals participating in health literacy can have a positive health impact on healthcare outcomes. Healthcare organizations goals for health literacy should focus on ensuring health information is presented in clear and plain language. (CDC 2021). Health literacy can help decrease the gap of health disparities. A person that is health literate can, not only improve their personal health but can also help promote the health literacy of others. (Santana et al., 2021).
CDC. (2021). What is Health Literacy? https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/learn/index.html
CDC. (2021). Talking Points About Health Literacy. https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/shareinteract/TellOthers.html
Meadows, D. (2008). Thinking In Systems: A Primer. Chelsea Publishing Company.
Santana, S., Brach, C., & Harris, L. (2021). Updating Health Literacy for Healthy People 2030: Defining Its Importance for a New Decade in Public Health. Journal of Public Health Management, 00(00), 1-7. DOI: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001324