Sample #1: Don’t Dumb Down Your Policies

Don’t dumb down your policies.

It’s true that everyone might need to be able to understand your policy, that doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be able to *read* the policy.

If the policy contains technical terms that need to be explained, that’s what the guidance documents are for. The guidance is where you can translate the technical terms of the policy into plain language terms for the different audiences that are going to need it.

Take me, for example.

I’m not a medical professional, so don’t dumb down hospital policies for me. I want hospital policies to be as sophisticated, specific, and technical as they need to be so that they are unambiguous for the doctors and nurses who need to understand them.

If there’s something that I need to know as a patient, you can put that into in plain language in your guidance documents or signage. But don’t sacrifice the quality of technical policies to make them understandable by lay people.


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