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Health literacy is how a patient can understand and act on health information. Low health literacy affects over 90 million people in the United States. It is a crisis of understanding medical information more than a problem of access to information. Patients and families who struggle to understand health information have a difficult time following medical recommendations and are at greater risk for health problems — which, in turn, has a negative effect on health outcomes and the entire health care system.
Health information can confuse anyone. Clear health communication helps us better understand and act on health information. This can include following instructions after a doctor's visit, treating a chronic illness, or taking a medication properly. For health care providers, clear health communication guides which words are used, how directions are given, and what materials are used to communicate with patients
Pfizer has taken a leadership role in promoting clear health communication. We are working with nationally recognized organizations and experts to develop tools and solutions to improve communication between patients and providers.