Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Nancy Kloha

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Monica Heck

Committee Member

Dr. Lynne Jensen


PURPOSE: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to assess provider and staff knowledge about health literacy. Specifically, the knowledge of health literacy and perceived importance, current usage, and benefits of the use of a health literacy assessment tool at a primary care clinic was evaluated pre-intervention. The perceived importance of health literacy as well as satisfaction with, frequency of use, and recommendation of the chosen health literacy assessment tool for future use was evaluated post-intervention.

METHODS: This project used surveys pre- and post-intervention at an urban primary care clinic in the southeastern United States from January to March 2017. The sample consisted of 9 providers and staff who completed surveys before and after collaboratively choosing one health literacy assessment tool to use with patients for one month during the intervention period.

RESULTS: All participating providers/staff strongly believed the patients at their clinic could benefit from tailored education based on individualized assessment of health literacy levels, yet over two-thirds of providers/staff felt that the health literacy of patients was not being assessed at the clinic prior to the intervention. With 88.8% of participants using the selected health literacy tool with 0-10 patient encounters (n=8) during the intervention, two-third of the participants (n=6, 66.7%) believed they “Might or Might Not” recommend use of the chosen health literacy assessment tool in clinic while the remaining one-third answered probably or definitely will recommend use.

CONCLUSION: The majority of providers/staff believe health literacy of patients is not currently being assessed at their clinic and that using a health literacy assessment tool with patients is important for patient education teaching. The majority of providers/staff are unsure if the tool used in this study is the best choice for everyday use in their clinic.