Leadership Lesson August 2021: Tips for Confronting Health Information and Improving Health Literacy
This month’s leadership lesson is from JoVonn Givens, MPH, Task Order Director at Alliant Quality, the quality improvement group of Alliant Health Solutions, the QIN-QIO for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, recently released an advisory on confronting health misinformation. In it, Dr. Murthy encourages everyone to take action and identify and address misinformation to make informed decisions. He also provides specific action steps for all sectors of our society, from individuals to media to health care professionals to government.
With National Immunization Awareness Month upon us and the recent increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, this is a great opportunity to lead the way in confronting health misinformation and improve health literacy. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Be patient and extend grace to yourself and others. In the Leadership Lesson I shared in December 2020, I wrote about Finding Grace & Peace in Troubled Times. These are suggestions that can be used at any time.
- Provide information from reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your local health department. Guidance has changed this past year and we have learned more about infection control as we have dealt with this pandemic. It is OK not to have the right answer, but there are people who do!
- Identify champions in your healthcare facility to help spread awareness and share their vaccination experiences. Champion leaders come in all shapes and sizes. It can be a patient, family member, direct care worker, administrative staff person or clinician.
- Share resources and tools from Alliant Quality, such as
We continue to face similar challenges as we did last year—risk to our staff, patients, and residents; school systems making the tough decision whether to be in person or virtual; and burnout in our professional and personal lives. One of the first steps to overcoming these challenges is using evidence-based information to make informed decisions. We all play a part in confronting health misinformation, and there is no better time to start than today.