Improve Your Written CommunicationsPosted on
Is your style of writing getting in the way of effective doctor-patient and marketing communications? Here is how you can improve your written communications…
Learn to Write Using the Active Voice
There is far too much passive writing in healthcare. If you don’t know the difference between the active and passive voice in writing, you may have difficulty understanding how your written communication style impacts your readers.
Active voice occurs when the subject of your sentence performs the action stated by the verb. For example, “Dr. Jones performs advanced surgical procedures” is active. It explains clearly and succinctly what Dr. Jones does.
Passive voice occurs when the subject is acted upon by the verb. “Advanced surgical procedures are performed at our practice” is passive. Passive voice always uses variations of the “to be” verb, requires about 25 to 30 percent more words and avoids naming the subject. Here’s another example that illustrates the difference.
A bad review was written by the patient. (passive)
The patient wrote a bad review. (active)
Sentences written in an active voice are more readable, flow better and are easier to understand. Passive sentences are awkward and vague.
Offices Don’t Provide Treatment, People Do
Another common mistake in healthcare writing is using the word “office” in place of actual people. For example, “Our office offers complete dental implants.” Really? Consider what that means. An office is a place where people do things. So talk about what the people do, not the office.