Health Literacy

health literacy 2

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.



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.

Find out more about the Health Literacy Alliance here.

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?


Understanding the Impact of Organisational Health Literacy Initiatives on Clients

Dr Lucio Naccarella from the University of Melbourne was commissioned to undertake research at the consumer level. This research explores the impact of health literacy initiatives on clients in four of our member organisations. The research demonstrates that change is occurring in member organisations and consumers are reaping the benefits of this change. 

Read the executive summary

Read the full report

Health Literate Organisations Mentoring Project

This project aims to guide and support organisations through the process of becoming a health literate organisation.

This includes:

  • 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.

Evaluation Reports for the 2019 peer group mentoring program

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.


Past Projects

Click here to read about our past health literacy projects.