What we think we say – How we speak to our customers.

in Health Care

While sitting in on a session at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum a presenter displayed the following quote on the screen and asked the audience of doctors, nurses, and health care administrators to translate it.

“There’s bear in a plain wrapper doing flip flops around 78 handing out green stamps.”

The sentence is in the language spoken on CB radios used by long haul truckers. Only one in the audience could translate the sentence. What it means in spoken English is:

“There is a cop in an unmarked car going round and round on I-78 giving out tickets.”

The lesson? The first sentence is how clinicians sound to their patients when they speak in medical jargon and the second is how it should sound. An important lesson to consider as one tackles the difficult challenge or reducing readmission through providing discharge instructions.