The following basic patient-friendly writing principles are emphasized to employees who participate in Aetna's writer's training course:

  • Write the way you speak.
  • Address the needs of the reader.
  • Focus on one topic.
  • Anticipate reader questions.
  • Use short words.
  • Use familiar words.
  • Write short sentences.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Use an active voice.
  • Use personal pronouns.
  • Use informative headings.
  • Use lists (bullet points).

Source: Aetna. Reprinted with permission.

Return to related article: Aetna's Patient-Friendly Culture Shift   

Publication Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012