Pop quiz. Which of these statements are true or false?

  1. Patients are primarily interested in understanding their symptoms versus learning about your practice when they visit your website.
  2. Patients look for answers to their healthcare questions on websites like yours.
  3. Patients prefer you use medical terms over simple language because medical jargon makes you sound like an expert.

Let’s see how you did.

  1. False. Patients do go online to research what ails them, but if they’ve landed on your website, they want to learn more about you and your practice. Make sure you highlight the things that matter most to patients across generations. Consider that:
    • Millennials (ages 18-29) seek convenience at a low cost.
    • The Gen X population (ages 30-49) guides the healthcare decisions of their partners, children, and aging parents.
    • Boomers (ages 50-64) will pay more for access and convenience.
    • Seniors (ages 65+) value affiliation to a hospital brand.
  1. True. Listen to the questions your patients ask. Then create blog posts, social media posts, or website content with simple, practical answers. Not only will this help customers find you and your practice, they will also regard you as a trusted source in your field. For instance, an orthopedic surgeon might answer, “When should I consider knee surgery?” and a pediatrician might address, “How do I keep my kids healthy during cold and flu season?”
  2. False. Did you know 77 percent of American adults have basic or below basic health literacy? That’s a lot of people who don’t understand medical jargon. This vast population is more likely to:
    • Pass up preventative measures such as mammograms and flu shots.
    • Treat rather than prevent disease. 
    • Suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. 
    • Visit the emergency room with a preventable condition. 
    • Report their health as poor. 
    • Feel shame over their lack of literacy, so they hide their inability to read and understand health materials (i.e., prescriptions, doctor’s orders, health literature, questionnaires) to maintain their dignity.

Help them out by making your content easy to read. Even the most literate of people may not know what “Otolaryngology” is. Use “ear, nose, and throat” instead to reach a wider audience including those patients who need you the most.

So, how’d you do on your pop quiz? Whether you passed or failed, you now have some of the tools you need to create relevant and easy-to-read content. For more content-creation tools, reach out and talk to us.