Dallas County Health and Human Services launched an online survey April 20 to gather community feedback on the county’s health literacy options.

As defined in a county press release, health literacy is “the ability of a community to access, understand, appraise and apply health information.”

Dallas County includes most of the city of Dallas and portions of 29 other cities, including parts of Richardson, Lewisville and Coppell. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 44 hospitals located within Dallas County in 2021.

County officials said the results of the survey will help identify how different communities in Dallas County receive and use health care information, and it will highlight ways the health and human services department can better provide service in each area.

“The 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment identified poor health literacy as a barrier to health care access and managing chronic disease,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, in a press release. “DCHHS is launching this survey to assess health literacy across Dallas County, to see how people get their health care information and [to see] if patients are happy with how their doctors communicate with them. This project will help guide DCHHS’ future communication strategies.”

Any residents age 18 and older are eligible to participate in the survey, which is expected to take less than five minutes to finish, according to county officials. Dallas County Health and Human Services officials said the agency also plans to report the survey results to health care providers in the area to help them improve their programs and services to the community.

The survey, which can be found here, is slated to be available through the end of May, according to the release.

The survey project is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health as part of a grant award received by Dallas County Health and Human Services.