Health Literacy in the Inpatient Setting: Implications for Patient Care and Patient Safety

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2019 Aug;66(4):805-826. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2019.03.007. Epub 2019 May 23.


Health literacy plays a role in the events leading up to children's hospitalizations, during hospital admission, and after discharge. Hospitals and providers should use a universal precautions approach and routinely incorporate health-literacy-informed strategies in communicating with all patients and families to ensure that they can understand health information, follow medical instructions, participate actively in their own/their child's care, and successfully navigate the health care system. Interventions that incorporate health-literacy-informed strategies and that target patients/families and health care systems should be implemented to improve patient outcomes and patient-centered and family-centered care.

Keywords: Bedside rounds; Communication; Discharge; Health literacy; Inpatient care; Patient safety; Patient- and family-centered care; Pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety*
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Teaching Rounds