When patients need information about their health, a physician should be the first place they go to seek answers. However, many people reach for their keyboards before their telephones to browse medical websites for information. If your patients rely on yours for reliable healthcare insights, ensuring your content is readable is just as important as making sure it’s factual. Here, AMNY Health Marketing explores some of the ways you can ensure your medical content is easy to understand.
Why Health Literacy Matters
Access to reliable healthcare information helps improve the public’s ability to make informed decisions about their care – and health literacy plays a big role in that. The degree to which individuals can find, comprehend, and use healthcare information is tied to health equity. When a patient can easily understand medical information, it enables them to:
- Locate providers and specialists in their area to schedule appointments
- Better recognize and explain their symptoms to a doctor
- Learn more about specific conditions and diagnoses
- Evaluate their unique health risk factors
- Make well-informed choices about available treatments
- Prevent injury or illness in everyday life
Your organization can foster greater access to vital information by creating thoughtful content. And aside from your content marketing strategy, navigation is highly important, as well. Patients must be able to find the information they need if they’re going to learn from your organization. And they should also be able to seek assistance and schedule appointments when necessary. This helps create a more person-centered experience that guides the patient from the research stage to the action stage.
Creating Digestible Healthcare Content
Writing healthcare content that’s easy to understand is important for all patients, but especially those who struggle with literacy. Many people have trouble comprehending and using the online medical information they need. Whether it’s on your healthcare blog or website, you can help make your medical content more accessible in many ways, including:
Write for Your Audience
Medical jargon may be easy for a physician to understand, but the average patient will need a little more information to fully understand those terms and phrases. Within your content, be sure to clearly define medical terms and avoid phrases that may not translate well to someone who speaks another language. As a general rule, aim for a middle-school reading level.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Creating digestible content isn’t just about the words you use – it’s also about how it’s presented on the page. Keeping your paragraphs and sentences shorter makes the information easier to process. Try aiming for paragraphs that are around five to seven lines and avoid complex sentences where applicable.
Break Up Your Content
Another way to make your page more readable is to break up long sections of text with bulleted lists. This helps patients find the information they need quickly and prevents them from getting lost in heavier sections of content along the way.
Use Common Examples
Making your healthcare content as relatable as possible fosters greater understanding. Consider using specific examples to help the patient process the information on the page and visualize how the topic may relate directly to them.
Incorporate Headers and Subheaders
In addition to bulleted lists, clearly defined headers and subheaders help make healthcare content easier to navigate. For example, if a patient already knows what a disease is and is seeking information about treatments, a bold “Treatments” header helps make this task simple.
Above all, make sure your content is evidence-based. Using reputable healthcare resources published within the last 5 years helps avoid the spread of outdated or inaccurate information. You can also link to medical websites (e.g. CDC, WHO) to help patients find more insights from trustworthy sources.
This vital step also makes your healthcare organization a credible online source – a place your patients know they can find reliable information when they need it most. Combining accuracy with easy-to-understand information helps build trust between you and your community, which can lead to greater brand awareness, more referrals, and better overall patient experiences.
Market Your Medical Content
Now that you’ve crafted content that’s tailored to your audience, it’s time to spread the word. Sharing content across formats and channels broadens your reach and ability to create meaningful connections with new and existing patients. Modern marketing capabilities also help keep you at top of mind when they need to make an appointment.
At AMNY Health Marketing, we know how important it is for you to be a trustworthy resource for your patients. We help hospitals, homecare agencies, private practices, and health systems craft health-specific marketing campaigns tailored to their audience that effectively communicate medical information. Contact us today to receive a complimentary marketing analysis.