Bridging the Digital Divide in Wound Care: Health Literacy and Access to Care

Relevant, accurate and useful health information can close health literacy gaps—and not just in wound care. Despite evidence that proficient health literacy improves health outcomes, it is often an afterthought or addressed in isolation. Health literacy must inform all health communication and public health research. The response to the current COVID-19 pandemic clearly illustrates how inequities sharpen and deepen when some population segments cannot “shelter in place,” simply because they lack access to resources that can help them make positive health-care choices. Wound care continues to be fragmented, under-serviced and under-supported. Virtual care and other digital health technologies (e.g., mobile health, patient forums, electronic records, patient wearable applications) that are becoming ubiquitous in health-care provision have the potential to address the current gaps. To ensure that access to these technologies does not increase health inequity but rather closes the digital divide, policy makers must not place the burden of ensuring success on the backs of those who are economically, culturally, physically or mentally disadvantaged. The responsibility for ensuring that health literacy improves and the digital health literacy gaps close rests with health-care providers and policy makers. We, as a society, should support only health-care advancement cost efficiencies that promote equitable health care—something that is achievable through digital health literacy.

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PROGETTO ITALIANO IN WOUND CARE 🇮🇹. SITO UFFICIALE DI LESIONI TOUR ®️. DAL 2017 Premio Eccellenze Italiane Assotutela 2020-2021.

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