Special Interest Group A

Health Literacy Solutions to Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake using Human-centered Design and Behavioral Science

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that people of color, particularly Hispanic/Latine/a/o/x communities, are disproportionately affected by the disease, in both cases and deaths. In Arizona, Hispanic/Latine/a/o/x populations accounted for 29.9% of COVID-19 deaths based on recent data from Salud America, and 35% of COVID-19 deaths in Pima County. Hispanic individuals lag the most in vaccination among the County’s racial and ethnic groups. Barriers in health access and literacy have played a significant role when receiving and improving health outcomes. Research has shown health literacy interventions contribute to reducing health disparities, which fosters health equity and social justice, especially in COVID-19 vaccination among racial and ethnic minority populations.

This session will share health literacy and communication strategies being implemented with community health centers to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Hispanic/Latine/a/o/x communities within Pima County among people of childbearing age, specifically those who are peri/pre/post-partum. These culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies (CLAS) aim to enhance COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, prevention practices, and vaccine uptake. This share out will include showcasing equitable and inclusive approaches among patients, practitioners, health systems, and community organizations to design system-level communication campaigns that are scalable to other comparable populations and jurisdictions.

Aligned with the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, Four Healthy People 2030 Objectives, and Pima County’s Network for Equity and Resilience (PCNER), the session will review the applied methodologies in human-centered design and behavioral economics to promote evidence-based health behavior among Hispanic/Latine/a/o/x communities for increased adoption of COVID-19 vaccination and literacy. The session will present prototypes of key deliverables in an ongoing pilot with clinics such as, but not limited to, communication toolkits, policies, practices, and materials to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake, improve patient-practitioner communication protocols, and create shared clinical decision-making. In addition, there will be continuous development and creation of best practices and standards for the adoption of COVID-19 health information using a culturally appropriate approach so these populations can easily obtain, communicate, process, and understand the health information and services to make more informed health decisions.

The session will introduce preliminary clinical and organizational outcomes, experiences, and behavioral findings from the pilot to highlight opportunities to improve CLAS solutions that will impact vaccine hesitancy and increase health literacy among the Hispanic/Latine/a/o/x community. This will include training for healthcare practitioners on the teach-back method, transformative dialogue techniques to empower patients in their health decisions, journey mapping, and organizational quality improvement recommendations to support health care systems to deliver value-concordant messaging and clinical care to populations disadvantaged by COVID-19.