Step 1: Checking in
Consumer engagement has to be at the forefront of whatever we are doing. It’s not good enough to get half way through a process and think ‘we should involve consumers now'
– Julia, Flourish. Mental health action in our hands.
Look at where you are now
The following questions will help you decide whether you are ready to begin:
- Are key people in your organisation supportive of health literacy?
- Do you have the time and resources you need?
- Is your organisation prepared to make changes as the result of a self-assessment?
- Are you able to involve consumers in the process?
- Do you have existing Quality Improvement processes (link to tool) that can be linked with health literacy?
- Will improving organisational health literacy help you meet accreditation standards (for example consumer involvement)?
- Are there people in your organisation who are interested and able to form a health literacy team? Do they need extra training or support around health literacy?
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, you are already on the way!
For training opportunities, support and other resources, visit the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) health literacy site.
A good size for a health literacy team is three people, but this will depend on your organisation’s size and needs.
As a general guide, we suggest that the team plans to meet once a week for three months. This will give you time to do the Self-Assessment Checklist, develop your Action Plan, and start putting it into action.
The health literacy team
While you may not need a formal health literacy team to be a Health Literacy Learning Organisation, it helps to have a small, dedicated group to bounce ideas around, support each other, and keep the process moving forward.
Try to involve people with different roles on the team. Ensure you are able to include consumer perspectives. Ideally, have consumer representatives as part of the team.
The team will need to decide on some timeframes before starting the process:
- How often can you meet?
- What is the timeframe for completing the self-assessment checklist?
- What is the timeframe for completing your Health Literacy Action Plan?
- What is the ongoing schedule for implementing and reviewing your Action Plan?