Six Attributes That Make an Organization Health Literate


A health literate organization is inclined to help people find out about their health condition and understand it better. It has the main objective of advancing health literacy and reading, understanding, and analyzing healthcare information. Many organizations are aiming towards health literacy because of several reasons. They are curious to learn more about it and make better health decisions with their help.

From guiding people on how to take good care of themselves to providing various healthcare services, these organizations do it all. Today, we will be exploring different attributes that make an organization health literate. Health literacy is becoming popular among various organizations that want to improve over time. Such organizations are motivated to make some extra efforts and promote a health literate culture. It is something we should be supporting as well as incorporate in our daily lives.

If you are pondering over the term ‘Health literacy,’ then check out its definition.

What Is Health Literacy?

Health literacy makes individuals capable of receiving, processing, and recognizing basic health knowledge, with better resources to make effective health decisions. It has become a significant concern for people who want to promote proper measures and prevent others from diseases and premature deaths. It undertakes early screening, healthcare maintenance, and protection of patients.

Organizations that have health literacy skills know how to educate the patients and evaluate health-related information. They are adept at reading health charts and participating in health studies, learning different ways to use medical tools for healthcare.

After reading about health literacy, you might be interested to learn more about how an organization can become health literate. If yes, then here are six attributes that contribute towards making an organization health literate.

Attribute #1: It is an organizational responsibility to promote health literacy.

As soon an organization considers health literacy an organizational responsibility, they get one step closer to becoming health literate. Promoting health literacy in the organization is more like building a healthy culture at work. In such organizations, a person’s health gets prioritized, and people are well-educated about the importance of maintaining good health. Usually, the whole organization becomes fully aware of health literacy, making it responsible for taking conscious steps.

Attribute #2: Formation of policies to regulate health literacy in the organization.

A health literate organization has the primary goal of actively engaging with health experts who can benefit the organization. There are health literacy counseling groups as well, where organizations are well-taught about practicing health literacy. Some functions learned by the organization are below:

    • Development of health literacy programs
    • Implementation of health literacy strategies
    • Formulation of policies regarding organizational health literacy
    • Review and analysis of health literacy practices.

Attribute #3: Health literate organizations provide educational support to the ones in need.

When an organization becomes health literate, it can easily facilitate the frontline workers, families, and patients in numerous ways. Starting with providing educational support, they can also land financial help to the struggling parties. An organization practices the knowledge it has by delivering high-quality healthcare information to the right people at the right time. This way, it ensures that health education can get reinforced besides implementing other management goals.

Attribute #4: It has the potential to deliver health information technology when required.

The revolution of IT in the healthcare sector has allowed organizations to leverage their health literacy practices. It can help healthcare providers and patients who need the latest technology to save others. By effectively using the resources they have, organizations can play an essential role in areas with limited health literacy.

Attribute #5: It advances inpatient training, assisting others in maintaining personal health records.

Using personal health records can be very beneficial for a health literate organization. It helps the organization in successfully studying and interacting with patients and healthcare experts. With health literacy knowledge comes the responsibility of implementing it without any delay. Some of these practices can be:

    • Educating people about health literacy that live in areas where limited health resources are available
    • Motivating patients to provide health records so organizations can efficiently study them
    • Ensuring different ways to access health literacy information

Attribute #6: The workforce is prepared to spread awareness about health literacy

The last attribute of a health literate organization is that it nurtures a diverse workforce to advocate for health literacy safely. Yes, it is an educational role played by the organization where spreading awareness through its workforce is a must. Some of these educational roles are:

    • Health educators
    • Navigators towards health literacy
    • Health coaches
    • Medical assistants
    • Expert health educators

Health literate organizations train their workforce to become a source of guidance for others. They often have a healthcare team where everyone communicates about health literacy and how to practice it.


The attributes mentioned above clearly depict the journey of an organization towards becoming health literate. It is not just about educating yourself about something, but growing that circle to influence others. That is what literate health organizations work towards –building a haven for everyone who deserves to live a healthy life.


About Theresa Duncan

Originally from Detroit, MI, Theresa has been offering health and fitness advice for the last 30 years while working as an engineer. She decided to turn her passion into a profession, and finds nothing more satisfying than helping others reach their health and fitness goals.

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