Health literacy is “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Low health literacy is a major problem in the US and it can have a negative impact on patient health and outcomes. Another major problem is heart failure. When low health literacy is combined with a chronic condition, like heart failure, research has shown disastrous consequences, such as poor quality of health and increased mortality. According to data heart failure and low health literacy are costly, common problems among populations 65 and older. Changes to healthcare to improve health literacy and management of heart failure in this population can help prevent negative consequences, decreased costs, and improved quality of life.
This proposed program design will focus on the heart failure patients with low health literacy.
Population Data, Health Risk Factors, Social Determinants of Health and Population Impact
The Institute of Medicine (2012) reports that nearly half of the US population lack health literacy skills needed to understand health information, and only 12% of the population possess proficient literacy skills. Low health literacy costs the U.S. more than $58 billion annually, and is associated with an increase in preventable hospital visits and admissions. Annual health care costs for an individual with low health literacy is four times higher than someone with adequate health literacy. (Centers for Health Care Strategies, 2013). According to the Centers for Health Care Strategies (2013), populations at a higher risk for low health literacy include racial...
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... of HF and of the self-management concept, symptom recognition, symptom evaluation, treatment implementation, and treatment evaluation. These steps, developed by Dr. Reigel and a panel of experts, are part of a process “that begins with recognizing a change in signs or symptoms (i.e., shortness of breath or edema), evaluating the change, deciding to take action, implementing a treatment strategy (e.g., take an extra diuretic dose), and evaluating the treatment implemented” (Reigel, n.d.). Also in the packet will be a medication log, symptoms management sheet, and lifestyle pattern sheet for patients to document their activities. In addition to the detailed counseling patients will receive bi-monthly follow up calls to determine assess how they are doing, whether or not they are following the guidelines, and also to allow the patients to ask any questions if needed.
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