When creating consumer-facing top-of-the-funnel health content to engage or educate patients, it is vital to ensure they can understand the information presented. The writer must edit complex medical information into understandable morsels. Here are three ways to simplify content for better consumer engagement.
Avoid medical jargon.
Consumers are familiar with medical terms heard on medical shows or from friends and family members. Familiarity with medical terms is different from understanding them. Medical terms like “myocardial infarction” may sound familiar, but the average consumer is more likely to understand the words “heart attack.” Sure, some readers will know both terms, but to expand the reach of readers who understand the content, keep the language simplified and with less jargon.
Limit the use of medical abbreviations.
As someone with years working in health care, I know it is easy to slide into medicalese after years of charting for efficiency. “Patient complained of UTI symptoms. UA negative with STD screening pos for BV. Medication prescribed BID.” Other nurses and medical providers know exactly what this phrase means. However, the average consumer may not get past the UTI (urinary tract infection), with the rest of the abbreviations sounding like jargon. If you use an abbreviation, even a common one like UTI, use the full term followed by the identifying abbreviation if you need to repeat the word or phrase. Avoid using an overabundance of abbreviations that end up looking like alphabet soup. Writing phrases out more clearly conveys information to your readers.
Don’t assume everyone knows their anatomy.
Many people are not familiar with basic anatomy. When talking about issues related to the body, explanations should be clear and in simple language. Better yet, include pictures or anatomical drawings, as images go a long way to clarify information for the reader.
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