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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Health literacy, medication errors, and health outcomes: is there a relationship?

Warner A; Menachemi N; Brooks RG.

This literature review examined the assumption that low levels of health literacy contribute to medical errors. The authors summarize the findings from past studies that addressed health literacy in relationship to medication errors and health outcomes before drawing several conclusions. They report that studies do associate low literacy levels with adverse health outcomes, but further investigation is required to better understand the link between literacy and medication errors. A past report from the Institute of Medicine examined the field of health literacy broadly and discussed strategies to drive improvement efforts.