Donald Trump offers healthcare literacy lesson for hospitals: Keep it simple

Digital health company cofounder thinks healthcare community has something to learn from Donald Trump’s simplistic messaging.

Do hospitals have something to learn about healthcare literacy from Donald Trrump? At the Stanford Medicine X conference, Shift Health co-founder and president Daniel Penn made the case that the healthcare questionnaires providers give to patients tend to ask for far too much information, use too much medical jargon and alienate the very patients they are trying to help. He made the point that hospitals would be better served if they took a page from Donald Trump when they take another crack at their questionnaires: communicate on a Third Grade reading level.

Penn wasn’t exactly brimming with pride when he used Trump as an example. But he noted Trump has built his popularity in no small part because he communicates at a reading level that a wide audience can understand. His role on the reality TV show The Apprentice and how it has schooled him on the art and power of using social media probably has more to do with his popularity than his political messages.

It will be interesting to see if Penn’s advice resonates with the healthcare community.

 Photo: Flickr user Unlisted Sightings