How is Medical Content Different From Other Content?
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Whether you have a personal blog, run a business, or simply want to share information with the world, having website content is one of the best ways to do this. Content creation comes in the form of written articles and is often based on research, personal experiences, and interviewing professionals specializing in the information.
Accuracy is always important regardless of the type of article you’re writing. However, having accurate and informative articles is even more critical if you have a medical blog, medical social media page, or run a medical practice. Sharing incorrect medical information could put someone’s health in jeopardy, whereas inaccurate information on another type of blog will simply misinform people.
Regarding medical content, accuracy and honesty should always come first. Apart from the ramifications of giving someone false information that could jeopardize their life and health, there are also a few special considerations to keep in mind with medical writing.
Because medical writing is typically published on medical websites or by a medical practice, it must be HIPAA compliant. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which was formed to protect the privacy of individuals. The goal is to ensure that patients’’ health information, including diagnoses and records, remains private unless they permit publication.
Here are some keys to staying HIPAA compliant in your medical content writing.
- Always remain as general and vague as possible when talking about medical case summaries. For example, if you’re writing an article about a high school quarterback and star athlete struggling with suicidal thoughts, refer to them as a teenager with a background in athletics who is having thoughts about self-harm.
- Get someone’s written approval if you plan to use their case as a study or example.
- Never use specific identifiers when referring to an individual that could reveal the person’s identity.
- Try to hire medical writers who are familiar with HIPAA compliance regulations. This will save you a ton of editing time and help you avoid legal issues.
It is necessary to cite your sources depending on the type of medical article you’re writing. Citing usually isn’t required if you’re advertising or marketing a product or general information on a public blog. However, for research papers or regulatory documents, citing is usually needed. Remember that your content could be a helpful source for patient education as well as the first impression for a new patient.
Your Target Audience
When considering your content strategy, you should target a specific audience with a particular problem. Your information must be catered directly to that part of the population rather than written to the general public. This is especially true if you’re marketing a medical product or service.
While providers certainly want to prioritize how content connects with patients, you still want to be sure that the content is relevant to search engine optimization (SEO). Content marketing is still something to keep in mind as you publish medical content in the healthcare and wellness space. After all, this will ensure that the content reaches the intended audience.
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Why You Should Hire a Medical Writer for Your Medical Content
Because of how specialized medical content writing is, it’s a good idea to target a medical content writer or writing agency for your specific types of content.
Familiarity With HIPAA Compliance
The last thing you want is to violate a HIPAA regulation and put someone’s private information on the internet for everyone to see. Not only will this damage the trust people have in you, but it could put your professional reputation at risk.
Experience With Medical Products and Practices
Medical content writers also have experience with various medical products and practices. They can gain this knowledge through firsthand experience or hours of tireless research. Hiring a medical content writer is quicker and easier than hiring someone without medical writing experience.
A Better Understanding of the Medical Writing Niche
When you’re putting medical information in an article, you’re typically targeting a particular group of people. This applies to marketing and advertising, research and development, or medical information regarding a condition or illness. Hiring someone who understands the nuances involved in the medical field will go a long way in making your blog or website successful.
Less Likely to Make Mistakes
In addition to understanding how to stay HIPAA compliant, medical content writers are far less likely to make mistakes or publish false information. Medical writers understand how important it is to remain accurate and relevant. After all, accuracy and honesty are the keys to building trust with your audience. Even a single mistake is enough to damage your image and break the trust it took you so long to build.
Consider a Medical Reviewer of Your Content
In addition to hiring a medical writer for your content, you can also hire a medical reviewer. Medical reviewers are necessary because a vast majority of medical content gets written by people without firsthand medical experience. Writers are responsible for researching a topic, getting advice from experts, and laying out information in a way that makes sense to the general public.
However, people feel more comfortable trusting medical advice when they know it has come from a medical professional. Therefore, you should always hire a medical reviewer to ensure that the content is accurate. This will help bolster people’s trust and confidence in your medical content. Unless you have time to review the information, you should always hire a professional medical reviewer.
What to Look for in a Medical Writer
If you feel convinced to hire a medical writer for your needs, it’s a step in the right direction. Hiring a medical content writer will ensure that all the information on your blog is valid and relevant without having to create an in-house team. If you’re unsure which professional to hire, here are a few qualities to consider:
Medical writing experience is the most important thing to look for when making your hire. Also, consider their experience with copywriting, marketing strategy, marketing content, and their overall experience with the niche of healthcare content.
Check the portfolio of any prospective writers to see how much healthcare content experience they have and ask for samples of their work. Make sure it includes high-quality content and relevant types of content. For example, you need someone with experience ghostwriting medical journals or other types of content that require subject matter experts.
Previous Medical Experience
While it isn’t always necessary, finding a writer with prior medical experience or even medical education may be a benefit, especially with complex medical topics.
By keeping each of these things in mind and doing your homework, you’re sure to hire the perfect writer for your medical content.