In 2015, the Austrian Health Literacy Alliance started its work. A “core team” was established as a decision-making body. It consists of members of the federal government, federal states, social security institutions and Health in All Policies (HiAP) partners. It is chaired by a representative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection acts as chair of. The coordinating centre of the Alliance supports the core team and acts as a knowledge centre. Members of the Alliance are organsations or persons whose activities and projects support Health Target 3.
To support the priorities of Health Target 3 the Alliance fulfills the following tasks:
- Support sustainable development and establishment of health literacy in Austria
- Promote networking, collaboration, and knowledge transfer
- Coordinate measures between different political and social sectors
- Foster a common understanding of health literacy, spread knowledge and facilitate innovation
- Establish monitoring and reporting, and ensure transparency and quality
In order to improve health literacy in the population, intersectoral working groups have been installed to develop guidelines, tools and activities. Relatedly, the Alliance has 5 focus areas:
- High-quality health information
- High-quality communication in healthcare
- Health-literate organizations
- Empowerment of citizens and patients
- Measuring health literacy
Examples of tools and activities developed in these working groups include (but are not limited to): criteria to improve written and audio information; a national training program for healthcare professionals; self-assessment tools for organizations; or the adaption of the „Ask me 3“ program. In addition, the Health Literacy Measurement Working Group conducted the Austrian Health Literacy Survey (HLS19‐AT) and developed recommendations on strengthening health literacy in Austria.