Useful Links


Information about health and health care for consumers

A User’s Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web
Information to help people evaluate the reliability of websites. Includes a librarians’ “top ten” list of health information websites for consumers. From the Medical Library Association.

Having Surgery? What You Need to Know
A guide for people who are having non-emergency surgery to help them be better informed about issues they should consider and questions they should ask before surgery. From the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Information to help consumers compare health care quality

Talking Quality’s Report Card Compendium
Searchable list of over 200 health care quality reports for consumers. The Web and print reports included in the Compendium cover the quality of health plans, hospitals, medical groups, individual physicians, nursing homes, and other providers of care. From the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Links to side-by-side comparisons of the quality of care provided by doctors and other health professionals, nursing homes, hospitals, home health services, dialysis facilities, and health and drug plans.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Aligning Forces for Quality
Information about RWJF’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform. The 16 communities participating in this effort are publicly reporting comparative performance information to help consumers make informed decisions.

National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Report Cards
Information that people can use to compare health plans in their area. From the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.

Informed Patient Institute (IPI)
Ratings of the usefulness of online health care report cards—starting with nursing homes and physicians. From the Informed Patient Institute, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to providing credible online information about health care quality and safety.

Information from state government licensing boards on the licensing background and disciplinary information of doctors and other health care providers. From the Administrators in Medicine.

Resources for organizations working with the Toolkit

Quick Guide to Health Literacy 
Basic overview of key health literacy concepts, techniques for improving health literacy, and examples of health literacy best practices. From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Library of Medicine: Health Literacy 
Overview of health literacy as well as links to other resources. From MedlinePlus, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Harvard School of Public Health – Health Literacy 
Health literacy materials developed for medical and public health professionals interested in learning about adult literacy in the U.S.

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit 
Step-by-step guidance and tools for assessing materials and making changes to connect with consumers of all literacy levels. From the NC Program on Health Literacy.
Information on the history and definition of plain language, resources and tools to help with writing plain language, and the federal plain language guidelines. From the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), a group of federal employees from different agencies and specialties.

Health Literacy Consulting
Helps organizations communicate health information in ways that patients, families, and employees can understand. Offers a free monthly newsletter, and health literacy tips, articles, and books.