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Health Literacy Staff Guide

  • Think about the uniqueness of the individuals we are seeing
  • Ask: what are this person’s needs?
  • Provide understandable information and opportunities for asking and answering questions
  • Listen to our patients, consumers, carers and families and check their and our understanding
  • Involve people in decisions and choices about their care
  • Work with other team members to provide optimal care

Questions to ask yourself in patient interactions

• Have I introduced myself and my role to the patient/consumer (and their family & carers)?

“Hello my name is...”

• Have I explored today's needs, medical and otherwise, of the patient/consumer (and their family & carers)?

“What matters to you?”

• Have I ensured my patient/consumer (and their family & carers) understands their current care plan to they extent that they wish?

“Can you tell me what you understand about your planned care today?” 

• Have I provided my patient/consumer (and their family & carers) with an opportunity to ask questions?

“Do you feel listened to?

“Do you have any questions or concerns today?”

“Do you have any feedback for us?”

“Do you feel safe?”

• Have I included my patient/consumer (and their family & carers) in their care?

“Do you know where you can find more information?”

“Do you know your Rights and Responsibilities?”



Have I involved the patient/consumer (and their family & carers) during handover or ward rounds?

Have I applied the Person Centred Care Bundle?


Allied health

• Have I explored their rehabilitation needs, medical or otherwise?

“What matters to you that you are unable to do?”



• Have I ensured they understand the importance of taking their medications, when and how long for?

“Can you tell me what you understand about your medications and what they are for?”

• Have I included them in decisions about their care?

“Do you have all the information you need to be able to take your medications as prescribed for you?

Do you know you can speak with your community pharmacy about having your medications in special packs so they are easier to take each day?

Do you know you can ask your community pharmacy questions about your medications?

Do you know where you can find more information?”



 Have I given them an opportunity to ask questions? 

“Do you have any questions for me?”

"Do you have anything else you want to tell me?

Have I provided relevant information to best address these questions or uncertainties?

a) Is this information in an easily understandable format?

Have I checked understanding?

b) Is this information in a culturally appropriate form?

c) Have I considered the use of interpreting services if required?

Have I listened to the patient or consumer and their family or carer?

Have I encouraged an open dialogue between parties?

“Do you have any feedback for me?”

Do I understand the patient/consumer (and their family & carers) wishes, preferences, and values, medical or otherwise?

Have I involved the patient/consumer (and their family & carers) during ward rounds?