“Content is fire; social media is gasoline.” - Jay Baer, Bestselling Author and Marketing Expert
Do you work in a health centre/hospital, promote health products or run health-related content on a platform?
Is high quality, curated content important to you?
Then this article is for you.
As a doctor with 20 years’ experience, I specialise in health writing for a wide audience.
I’m ecstatic to see paternalistic attitudes dwindle in our profession. These days, health care providers are devoting more energy into patient-centred communication.
But before we look at how to do it, let’s look at the consequences of poor communication with patients/clients.
Dangers of inadequate communication
Here's an article looking at the consequences of not getting the message right. By the way, for ‘patient’ we can also extrapolate to ‘customer’ or ‘client.
The authors concluded an aftermath of “unnecessary pain, in avoidable deaths, in poor health outcomes, in the prolongation of illnesses” and “costs in terms of the financial part of the equation, in large sums of money that get spent unnecessarily because of the communication breakdowns and barriers”.
What is patient-centred communication?
This article published in PubMed Central® suggests that core concepts include:
When it comes down to written forms of such communication, I have some further recommendations for content.
How to succeed
Great readability. Gone are the days of being able to wow the patient with medical terminology and complex language. It is often said that the prose should be easy enough for an 11-12 year old to understand.
The right style of writing. An article for a wellness magazine is not the same as a newsletter from a health care provider, or a blog on an online support forum run by expert patients.
With globalisation, the rise of small businesses, and a tsunami of social media and digital communications, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Here are some interesting statistics from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA):
Keep it current. Content needs to keep up with today's controversies, news and trends.
Make it evidence-based. As much as possible.
Ensure technical accuracy. The dull yet still essential part: grammar, spelling, punctuation and word usage. A typo or incorrect use of a word can scupper an otherwise good piece.
We can collaborate to make great content
As a family physician, I'm able to write about most medical specialties. My particular interests are in mental health, women's health, health promotion, and chronic / complex medical issues.
I’ve ghostwritten health articles, re-written articles for clients, composed content for my own websites, and produced patient information leaflets for people attending my clinics.
I would also be delighted to work with patient and community groups too.
If you’re after fresh writing backed by clinical experience, please contact me here, via LinkedIn, or head straight to my health writer services page below. Let's start the ball rolling today.
@AliceLamWriter @CHFofAustralia @GPsDownUnder #AliceLamWriter #KillTyposNotPeople #publichealth #Communication #patientsafety #patientexperience #patientempowerment#communication