What is a Health Literate Organisation?
Definition of a health literate organisation is:
“An organisation that makes it easy for anyone to find, understand, and use information and services.”
Why become a health literate organisation?
It’s our responsibility
We recognise that our services and systems can be complicated. It is our responsibility to reduce confusion for everyone by being health literate organisations.
The benefits of being a Health Literate Organisation
A Health Literate Organisation can:
- Improve health and social outcomes.
- Strengthen their strategic and operational advantage.
- Improve consumer safety and reduce legal risk through effective communication.
- Improve quality and meet accreditation requirements.
- Improve consumer satisfaction and reduce complaints.
- Improve efficiency and cost effectiveness.
In 2017 we teamed up with Inner North West Primary Care Partnership (INW PCP) to develop and deliver the Health Literacy Initiative. We are combining our resources and experience to deliver a group of strategic projects. The Initiative projects will support our member organisations to respond effectively to the health literacy needs of their communities.
Vic PCP Online Health Literacy Course
INW PCP and HealthWest Partnership contributed to the governance and development of the Vic PCP Online Health Literacy Course.
Read about and access the course here.
This course was evaluated in late 2018. You can access the Evaluation Report here.
Health Literacy Alliance
The Health Literacy Alliance supports the development of an effective and consistent regional approach to health literacy responsiveness in Melbourne’s west and inner north. The Alliance will:
- Provide a forum for practical peer learning and support for health literacy practitioners.
- Identify and respond to common issues and challenges faced by health literacy practitioners.
- Explore and coordinate regional health literacy action as agreed by Alliance members
Find out more about the Health Literacy Alliance here.
Health Literate Organisations Mentoring Project
This project aims to guide and support organisations through the process of becoming a health literate organisation.
- Understanding what it means to be a health literate organisation.
- Undertaking a short self- assessment to understand what the organisation is doing well, and what could be improved.
- Developing an action plan for making improvements.
- Implementing this action plan.
This project is a unique in that participants receive one-on-one support from ‘mentors’- individuals who have experience improving health literacy responsiveness within their organisations.
Following a round of peer group mentoring workshops in 2018, a second round of workshops were facilitated in 2019 with four new organisations and four mentors to guide and support organisations through the process of becoming a health literate organisation.
Please download the evaluation report for the 2019 peer group mentoring program.
Health Literate Organisations Self-Assessment Tool
HealthWest Partnership and Inner North West PCP have made a handbook designed to support organisations to become health literate.
It’s called Make it Easy: A Handbook for Becoming a Health Literate Organisation. It involved a collaboration between professionals and consumers from Melbourne’s West and Inner North.
Why use it? This handbook has been designed to:
- Be easy to use
- Be small and achievable
- Provide practical advice and resources.
100% of organisations that piloted the handbook said they would recommend it to other organisations.
It has been described as: “A very useful starting point” “Easy to use” “Fantastic!!”
What’s in it? The handbook will support you to:
- Understand what it means to be a health literate organisation
- Conduct a mini self-assessment of your organisation (16 indicators)
- Give you specific ideas for making improvements
- Direct you to high quality resources
To learn more about how the tool was created and evaluation findings please download the report.
Do you have feedback on the Make it Easy handbook?
Click here to read about our past health literacy projects.
- Health Literacy Resources for Communicating Clearly: a list of resources to support communication and marketing staff.
- HealthWest Checklist for Written Information (HealthWest 2017): A tip sheet to help develop clear, user-friendly written information.
- Tips sheets (CEH, 2014): A series of nine information sheets were developed to provide guidance in exploring three elements useful in understanding and achieving health literacy.
- Health Literacy Data (ABS, 2006): Data regarding health literacy across Australia.
- National Statement on Health Literacy (ACSQHC, August 2014): This national approach to health literacy was endorsed by all health ministers.
- Health Literacy: Taking Action to Improve Safety and Quality (ACSQHC, August 2014): A consultation paper from the Australian Commission on Safety, Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) describing key issues and themes in health literacy. The report identifies areas and actions that require coordinated health literacy action.
- Health Literacy Chronic Disease Network (The University of Sydney): A multidisciplinary, international research network which aims to improve the management of chronic disease for adults with lower literacy.
Tanya Sofra, Systems Integration Manager
Phone 9248 9658 or email@example.com