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We’ve lost the care from healthcare communications. It’s time to bring it back.

By Katie Langdon, Founder + Creative Director

People care about different things. Some love sport. Others prefer to read. There are even people who have arranged their entire social calendar for the past 6 weeks around Love Island. But that’s enough about me. Despite our differences, there’s one thing that pretty much all of us care about: our health. We’re admittedly a bit biased, but we think communicating effectively about healthcare to professionals, patients and their loved ones is one of the most important jobs in the world. So why is it often done so badly?

One of the main reasons I started Skin and Blister with my sister, Fi, was because we both kept seeing healthcare communications at their worst. You might be familiar with these examples:

  1. The article about medication given by intravenous infusion, headed up with a stock photograph of a pile of tablets.

  2. The tweet about white men over 40 being at risk of type 2 diabetes, accompanied by a photo of a young Hispanic woman.

  3. The photo of the ‘happy couple on the beach’ that seems to represent ‘patients with terminal cancer, enjoying their last few months to live’. Don’t get me started.

If you can’t be bothered to get your imagery right, what does that say about the validity of the article? And more than that, what kind of message is this sending to patients who are relying on this advice or treatment?

It’s not just pictures. It happens as frequently with words too. Sometimes we read copy that is meant for patients which we can barely understand — and we have science degrees! Bearing in mind that patients often feel daunted by their diagnosis, surely a gentle, handholding approach would make more sense?

It’s from some of these frustrations that Skin and Blister, a creative agency specialising in health, was born. Patients and their healthcare professionals deserved better. We knew we could do better. The care and attention has been lost from healthcare communications. Help us to bring it back.

This article was first published on our LinkedIn page:


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