Healthcare Marketing: Your Lab Report is Gibberish. How Good Design Improves Health and Doctor-Patient Communications

Understandable data informs & educates

A physician’s reading list is more likely to include JAMA than Wired magazine. Although the tech-centric journal seems an unlikely source, this month’s edition (Dec 2010) provides a vividly illustrated case example for marketing communications.

Doctors, hospitals and clinical labs in particular will find a brief but dramatic lesson in how good graphic design can contribute to better patient care, healthcare marketing and improved doctor-patient communications.

Typically incomprehensible lab reports don’t have to be…um, incomprehensible. “Better design and more context,” they say speaking as a patient, “can clarify the [lab] results— and help us understand our options.”

Perhaps Wired was inspired by our recent post: Branding in Unlikely Places: Using Patient Friendly Billing Statements in Hospital and Medical Marketing. We talked about how branding can enhance the patient experience even on billing statements that are clear, concise and easily understood.

The magazine applies the same idea to indecipherable lab reports. The article, The Blood Test Gets a Makeover, combined the talents of three graphic designers with the medical expertise of Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin, physicians at the Dartmouth Medical School Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

The enlightening before and after images speak for themselves in makeover examples for The Basic Workup, The Heart Disease Test, and The Prostate Test. Effective design puts a face of understanding on the medical technology. And it’s an opportunity to inform with a level of understanding that improves patient health and doctor-patient communications. It’s also a place to extend your branding message, both visually and in an improved patient experience.

Read more about brochures, branding and effective patient communications in medical and healthcare marketing here on the Healthcare Success website.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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