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Healthcare content4 min read 10 things to double-check in your healthcare content

Double-check your healthcare content. Error-free copy shows consumers you're an organization that's good with details.

February 19, 2021

When evaluating a brand’s trustworthiness, healthcare consumers pay attention to details. That’s why you should too.

To err is human, of course. But even minor errors can reflect poorly on your brand. And whether it’s fair nor not, mistakes may tell consumers something about the quality of your care and services. At the very least, your readers may join the chorus that asks: Does anyone proofread anymore?

Scour your healthcare content

Sure, you’re on the alert for things like typos, misspellings, faulty grammar and punctuation. Those are good basics of proofreading. Keep it up! But where else can mistakes or problems lurk in your copy and even your images?

Read on for 10 tricky items that are always worth a close eye:

  1. Captions. Are they paired with the correct images? Are the captions correct? Especially with large group photos, try to match each face to a name to make sure nobody has been omitted. If the people shown also are mentioned in the main content, do names, titles and credentials match up?

    Pro tip: While you’re checking facts, you may also want to make sure the photo doesn’t contain any protected health information under HIPAA. Also, are the people wearing masks in a manner that reflects your brand’s response to the pandemic?
  1. Charts and infographics. These can be great ways to convey facts. But they also tend to have design or production steps where errors can be introduced. Check your visual content against the original copy, and look out for any inconsistencies in the piece itself.

  2. Headlines. Give them a slow word-for-word read. It sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes the larger the typeface, the more likely it is that an error will slip by. That’s especially true if it’s a print piece and the headline has elaborate or unusual styling.

  3. Links and URLs. A broken link on your hospital website or a mistyped URL in your magazine is a lost connect—404 sadness. Make sure all links work, and double-check any URLs that appear in print. Also check to make sure links take people to the right part of your website for the task you’re asking them to accomplish online.

  4. Names. Few typos are as awkward or regrettable as an error in a person’s name. You don’t want that in a patient story or a physician profile. Make sure all references are correct and consistent. For physicians and other professionals, make sure credentials (MD, DO, RN, BSN, FACOG, etc.) are accurate as well. Names don’t apply only to people. Double-check department and program names as well. Are you using them consistently? For instance, is it your oncology department or your cancer center? Errors or inconsistencies in references to departments can confuse your readers.

  5. Numbers and dates. If you present statistics or the like, remember to do the math. Do your figures add up, or are you left with a total of 103%? If you promote classes or events, check that you have the dates correct—that includes days of the week. For instance, you might catch a reference to “Monday, Dec. 3, 2021” but no such day exists. So does it refer to Monday, the 13th, or to Friday, the 3rd? You may need to confirm with someone to know for sure. Make sure page numbers in teasers point to the correct page.

  6. Style changes. If your organization uses the AP Stylebook, take note of changes. In 2020, AP style updates included coronavirus entries. In 2019, the AP said it’s okay to use the % sign with a numeral in most cases.
  1. Phone numbers. When you’re urging people to call a number, an error is a potential disaster. To avoid embarrassment, take a few minutes to call all phone numbers in any content you’re developing or reviewing. And while you’re at it, you might want to make sure your callers’ experience will be good. Consider: Is it the best number to call? What hours is the phone staffed? And is the staff aware that calls will be coming their way?

  2. Standing elements. In a hospital magazine or wellness e-newsletter that you send out regularly, it can be easy to assume that the regulars—logos, taglines, page numbers, etc.—don’t need checking. But they do. One accidental keystroke might delete or alter a standing element.

  3. Elements at the edges of pages. Do folios have the correct issue date? Do headers and banners match the page content?

No detail is too small

You need accuracy you can count on. Coffey’s emphasis on precision and quality makes us a partner you can rely on and trust. We test and hire eagle eyes—and we’re committed to getting it right because it matters to you and us. We’d love to tell you more about our approach to quality assurance. Contact us.