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Enhancing organizational health literacy in a rural Missouri clinic: a qualitative case study

Ricardo Wray (College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Nancy Weaver (College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Prajakta Adsul (Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA)
Kanak Gautam (College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Keri Jupka (Parents as Teachers, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Stacie Zellin (National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Kathryn Goggins (Vanderbilt University, Baxter, Tennessee, USA)
Santosh Vijaykumar (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Natasha Hansen (College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Rima Rudd (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 10 June 2019

333

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate a collaborative effort between a health care organization and academic institution to strengthen organizational health literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The intervention took place at a rural, federally qualified health clinic in Missouri between May 2009 and April 2011. Qualitative interviews of key informants were conducted before (n=35) and after (n=23) the intervention to examine program implementation and success in effecting organizational change.

Findings

Intervention activities helped establish a comprehensive understanding of health literacy. The project achieved moderate, fundamental and sustainable organizational change. The program successfully integrated health literacy practices into clinic systems and garnered leadership and organizational commitment, helped the workforce improve interpersonal communication and embedded practices making health education materials more accessible.

Originality/value

The study points to programmatic, conceptual and methodological challenges that must be addressed for organizations to improve health literacy practices, and suggests change management strategies to advance organizational health literacy.

Keywords

Citation

Wray, R., Weaver, N., Adsul, P., Gautam, K., Jupka, K., Zellin, S., Goggins, K., Vijaykumar, S., Hansen, N. and Rudd, R. (2019), "Enhancing organizational health literacy in a rural Missouri clinic: a qualitative case study", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 788-804. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-05-2018-0131

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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