The PIF Health Digital Literacy Survey is an important study which contributes to our understanding of health literacy in a digital setting in the UK.
The recommendation are reflective of global policy and principles of digital health literacy.
‘UK National Health strategies’ is certainly a key political aim in many of the UK countries, particularly Scotland where health literacy is reflected in all national policy as a whole systems approach.
Recommendation 2 ‘Organisations producing health information should aspire to become ‘health-literacy-friendly’ – again this reflects the aims in many organisations in the UK, including Health Literacy UK, and globally which wish to promote health literate organisations.
This also reiterates the need to ensure organisations educate and train their staff in health literacy principles.
Recommendation 3 on NICE recognises the need to have health literacy in guidelines to guide staff, reminding us that digital health literacy capabilities should not create inequity of access and create an environment where supported shared decision making is only for the few.
Recommendation 4: ‘Shared decision making’ reminds us that health-literacy friendly or health literate organisations have an obligation to ensure patient and public information is accessible, delivered in multiple formats, free of jargon, and meets standards which enable people to be informed and to make decisions with their healthcare provider or in everyday life, to maintain or change health behaviour.
Recommendation 5: ‘PIF TICK’ – reiterates the important expertise in the UK that can enable development of standards of health literacy and give a method for organisations to be endorsed when they meet the standard.
These recommendations are reflective of the global push from expert groups such as Health Literacy UK and the many experts and global working groups; as well as organisations such as World Health Organisation.
Together we can continue to ensure we move to a health literate world and surveys like this improve understanding of how to achieve this.