"What Did the Doctor Say?" Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety.
Low health literacy is a recognized patient safety problem. Prior research has demonstrated that patients with impaired health literacy have difficulty comprehending prescription instructions and warnings. This Joint Commission report, developed by an expert panel, contains specific recommendations for improving provider–patient communication, in order to ameliorate the problem of low health literacy as much as possible. The report recommends that organizations establish communication as a patient safety priority and calls for financial support for patient-centered care initiatives.