Not For Profit Launches Charter For Digital Health Literacy
For more than 20 years, the UK not for profit, the Patient Information Forum (PIF) and its member patient groups have fought to improve patient health literacy. In its recent survey it confirmed the scale of the challenge in building capacity, capability and confidence in health and digital literacy.
Scale of challenge
During the autumn, the Forum published a survey into challenges with digital health literacy in the UK, comparing with baseline data from seven years ago.
They found that in that time, some progress had been made:
- “60% of organisations are providing information for those with low literacy or numeracy compared to 35% in 2013
- 58% are providing information for BAME groups, compared to 39% in 2013.”
The survey revealed some priorities for action:
- Only 13% of respondents say their organisation has a health literacy strategy (slightly up from 10% in 2013)
- Only half had considered impact on health inequalities when introducing digital services.
The Forum concluded that:
“Throughout the survey, a lack of recognition of the importance of health and digital literacy at an organisational level emerged as a key concern…Health information must be clear, consistent and accessible in all its formats if people are to make informed decisions about their health. Ensuring information is inclusive, culturally appropriate and co-produced are all key elements in making content health literacy friendly.” – Patient Information Forum
Digital Health Charter
The Patient Information Forum is encouraging its members which range from clinical providers to patient groups to signal their commitment to building digital health literacy by signing a 5 point charter:
- “Using clear communication (verbal, written, digital)
- Creating easy-to-use digital tools/websites, printed information and premises
- Involving people in the development of information as routine and inviting feedback
- Training staff in health literacy
- Commit to consider digital exclusion and the equalities impact when introducing new resources.”