I don’t know anyone who isn’t occasionally guilty of using “medical-ese.” It's the verbal shorthand, technical talk, healthcare jargon, slang or hospital lingo that spells trouble. Doctors, nurses, hospital marketing executives, and practice administrators are all experts, but our audience is not. And we kill our well-intended message quicker than you can say "hyperlipidemia."
The big idea here is to write and speak in plain language. Physicians and healthcare providers know a lot about medicine, but consumers don’t. Communicators and healthcare marketers need to fit words to the audience. Making things simple and easy to understand is never an issue if it communicates clearly.
Yes, we know that you know that, but it still happens. Just consider this a friendly reminder for the benefit of your practice, hospital, company and/or patients.
Here are a few “failure to communicate” examples, and what to do instead.
Give everything—we mean everything—a fresh read for clarity and understanding. Healthcare marketing and advertising materials, such as ads, news releases and online, are primary. But apply the same tests to hospital signs, patient instructions and even conversations at the front desk.
There are more health literacy examples in the Kaiser article. And if you’d like a little candid conversation with us about clear and effective marketing materials, connect with us here.
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