Clinical Edge

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Health Literacy in Promoting Quality of Care

Obstet Gynecol; 2016 Oct; ACOG

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement and Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women has issued a committee opinion on health literacy as a means to promote quality of care. The ACOG recommends the following for addressing health literacy to promote quality of care:

  • Because of the potential effect of health literacy on patient outcomes, obstetrician–gynecologists should take the appropriate steps to ensure that they communicate in an understandable manner so patients can make informed decisions about their health care.
  • Personnel at all tiers of the medical system must learn to communicate with patients in a way that takes into account each individual’s unique circumstances and abilities for comprehending health-related information.
  • Tools and methods accessible to all patients, including those with limited health literacy, should be developed to disseminate health-related information.


Health literacy to promote quality of care. Committee Opinion No. 676. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;128:e183–6.