Building a health literate community

A new web portal is being created to provide practical support for staff.

Health Literacy is hot on everyone’s lips and with good reason.

A number of engaging health literacy seminars have already been held for staff across Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), but there is even more exciting news!

The team at the WSLHD Health Literacy Hub are currently working on a web portal aimed at providing practical support and guidance to healthcare professionals and health literacy practitioners.

The site will bring together best practice information, evidence-based tools, resources and research in one publicly-accessible site, making it easy for staff to access.

Professor Don Nutbeam, who is leading the establishment of the WSLHD Health Literacy Hub, said the portal will be an exciting step forward to achieve our vision of making western Sydney one of the most health literate communities in Australia.

“Our goal is to connect people to information they need about health literacy to improve the health outcomes of their patients,” he said.

“The Health Literacy Hub is already providing staff with advice, guidance and practical support enabling them to be more effective in their communication with patients and the public.

“In time, we anticipate that a high quality web portal will enable the Hub to optimally extend its reach and impact.

“Once registered, healthcare professionals will get immediate access to a wide range of resources developed to help them improve the quality and effectiveness of verbal and written communication with patients.

“Members of the public can use this site to find advice on how to get the most from conversations with their healthcare provider, how to find a health service, and how to find reliable information about their health and to connect with other web sites offering consumer advice on health and specific illnesses.”

Just some of the resources that healthcare professionals (including WSLHD staff) will be able to access include:

  • Patient Education Portal (PEP) providing practical on-line support to help improve the readability and comprehension of written patient information and education materials
  • Video recordings and slide presentations of past WSLHD Health Literacy seminars and registration for upcoming seminars
  • Relevant government policies and research papers outlining evidence on recommended interventions which can adapted and adopted within the LHD
  • Up-to-date information about health literacy research being undertaken in the LHD in partnership with the University of Sydney Health Literacy Lab
  • Links to research tools and health literacy questionnaires

The Health Literacy Hub portal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, so stay tuned for more information on this exciting project.