This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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05 August 2013

For your health's sake, double-check the instructions

On Stuff today, Medical School researcher, Sonya Morgan, says that GPs need strategies to minimise the risk of communication problems. Some of our writing strategies work well for verbal consultations too. Such as thinking of the reader/listener by choosing words they'll be familiar with. 'Chunk and check' is a useful strategy in writing and speaking - giving information in small chunks, and giving the reader/listener time to take it in before giving new information.

The doctor-patient relationship is a shared responsibility. Patients need strategies to keep themselves safe too. Health providers are always busy, and waiting rooms can be intimidating, busy places.

Patients can double-check the instructions by using their own words to tell the doctor what they're going to do. And asking questions and writing down what they need to do will decrease everybody's risk.

1 comment:

  1. I have a friend whose GP was prescribing her an anti-depressant. Among the side effects, he listed 'a disappointing weight gain'.

    She said: "What other sort is there?"