Doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers are often accused of having poor communication skills. From illegible written prescriptions and patient instructions that don’t match the average patient’s reading grade level, to overly clinical content, patients may come to expect less than satisfactory communications from their providers. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Whether you are a doctor, dentist, physical therapist or other ancillary health provider, you can improve your patient communications. Since many potential patients will find you on the Internet first, here are some tips for improving your web communications:
Get to the Point
Keep your communications brief and focused. Current and potential new patients today have short attention spans. Write too much or use too much clinical language and people will leave your website quickly for greener pastures.
Use a Friendly, Casual Tone
Your communications should be professional, but friendly and casual in tone. Using plain language complete with contractions and popular expressions throughout your text is a good way to help patients feel that you are speaking their language. It’s what we call “the language of the consumer.” The point is to help potential patients reading your content to feel connected to you and comfortable.
Use Twitter Hashtags
Hashtags are a way to connect to a specific target audience on social media and bring your practice to the attention of potential new patients. If, for example, you are a gastroenterologist, you might use a hashtag like #gidisorders or #crohnsdisease to attract people seeking more information about those topics.
Put the Patient First
One of the most powerful yet easy-to-use words in the English language is the word “you.” If the very first line of your communication does not contain this word, you risk losing your reader. Too often, healthcare web content starts off talking about the practice or the practitioner, instead of the patient or the patient’s needs. If you make it all about you, then readers will assume it’s not about them.
Our healthcare marketing consultants can help you develop a communication strategy and healthcare marketing plan to help you attract the patients you want. For more information, call 800.679.1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.