Health Communication: What Patients Need from Medical Writers
Medical writing isn’t just for the professionals in the healthcare field. Patients rely on documentation about their disease and how to care for loved ones in health situations. With well-written brochures and manuals, the patient can have something to turn to when they’re at home or in a hospital setting, helping them see if they’re on the road to recovery or if they need to check in with their healthcare provider.
Not Just for Nurses
Medical technical writing helps to explain complicated medical situations to patients, allowing them to make informed decisions about their care. Even though a patient might not understand all of the big words that the doctor might tell him, a well-written information packet can step in to help. Even if the packet doesn’t answer all of the patient’s questions, it can provide some background information that could lead to additional questions the patient might want to ask when the doctor does finally come to check in and answer questions.
While the Internet is certainly a favored tool for patients who want to learn more about their complicated health issues, the Internet is vast – not to mention rife with inaccurate information – and can become confusing to patients. Instead, medical writers need to clearly communicate important information to set the stage for a conversation between the patient – now equipped with up-to-date medical information – and doctor.
Health crises are scary enough without having to decide whether health information is reliable. This is where medical technical writing can clear things up – or at least make the health information more straightforward and understandable to patients and their families.