Performance Improvement 2013-2014. What Strategies Can Ensure that Health Information Tools are Accessible, Relevant, and Utilized by Low Literacy Populations to Understand Basic Health Information and Services?


AHRQ's Health IT program developed a Health IT Literacy Guide to ensure that consumer health IT applications are accessible for individuals with low literacy. An evaluation, consisting of an environmental scan, expert interviews, and focus groups with developers and purchasers of health IT, was conducted to determine to what extent the Guide aided 1) developers in designing health IT applications that are accessible to adults with different levels of health literacy, and 2) purchasers in selecting health IT applications that are accessible to adults with different levels of health literacy.

Based on the research findings, several recommendations were provided: 1) retain the Guide; 2) disseminate the Guide much more broadly; 3) enhance the checklist found at the end of the Guide to assist users in designing and selecting health IT, and tailor the checklist for users who are in the process of making design or purchase decisions; and 4) update the content of the Guide to address current technologies, advances in the use of the Internet and mobile devices, and new findings concerning the prevalence of limited health literacy.

Report Title: Evaluation of Health IT Tools and Resources Available at the AHRQ NRC for Health IT Web Site

Agency Sponsor: AHRQ, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Federal Contact: Vera Rosenthal, 301-427-1167
Performer: Westat, Inc.
Record ID: 9977 (September 7, 2012)

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"PerformanceImprovement2014.pdf" (pdf, 671.65Kb)

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