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Health Literacy and Patient Education

This guide was created for health professionals who have an interest in health literacy, patient education and making healthcare information understandable to all. It provides links to books and journals, as well as other quality sources.

Health Literacy Defined

Health literacy: Accurate, accessible, and actionable health information for all.

Centers for Disease Control. Lead Health Literacy Initiative. Accessed 10/20/2014.

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. 

Institute of Medicine. 2004. Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Best Practice and Guidelines

About This Guide

This guide provides resources, tools and information for professionals hoping to learn more about health literacy/patient education and how to apply best practices to their own work educating and informing patients and caregivers.  This guide is aimed at serving the NYU community.  Specific book titles are only accessible with NYU login credentials.

Start Here

The Health Literacy Quickguide is a good starting point. The guide is designed to be a quick and easy reference, filled with facts, definitions, helpful tips, checklists, and resources you can use on the job.  It contatins factsheets, strategies, and resources. Created by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Patient Education and Health Literacy at NYU Langone

Healthwise is the first choice for patient education at NYU Langone. However, when specialized content is needed check the Sharepoint database of  NYU Langone-created documents here:  NYU Langone's Patient Handouts through atNYULMC (with Kerberos ID/email password).  A third source is Lexicomp, particularly for medications in other languages.