Patients are now asked to make decisions about their own disease process. Most patients do not have the tools to make these kinds of decisions. Shared decision making between patients and their health care providers is important to both.
What is consumer health information? It is information about health and medical diseases and condtions written in non-technical language for the general public. It is not to be confused with the information written by and for health care professionals and practitioners who treat medical and health condtions. It is also not the same as patient education handouts and easy-to-read materials.
An important part of being an informed patient and taking a patient-centered approach to care is being health literate and understanding what health literacy is.
Health Literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. (Healthy People 2010)
People can be highly educated, but know very little about their own body or health.