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Health Literacy

Who Can Improve Health Literacy?

In the 21st century, health information is everywhere and consumers need reliable ways to find their information, such as a physician or a health information library (MLA, 2005). Medical librarians are “trained to search for the best and most current health information. They are expert searches and can help make their communities healthier” (MLA, 2005). Through training, librarians know which websites are reliable and can find health information adequate to the patient’s reading level. In addition, medical librarians bring awareness of the importance of health literacy to health care professionals and can also education the public through classes and other means.

Healthcare providers and health care systems play an important role in the increase of health literacy (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Healthcare providers need to be aware of low health literacy (MLA, 2005) and practice methods to identify a patient with low health literacy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a helpful National Action Plan.