Have you ever downloaded an app or some software, and before downloading clicked a button that says something like “I have read and accept these terms?” Maybe you have been to a site that has a check box at the end that says “I have read, understand, and acknowledge these terms and conditions.”

So we check the box or click the tab, never having read the actual terms and conditions. NEVER!

As the great Mark Twain once said, “There are two types of people in the world – those who don’t read the terms and conditions, and liars.”

Wait a minute! Mark Twain died in 1910! How is that possible?

And how about those long disclaimers at the end of an email? Ever read one of those suckers? No one has! Yet by reading the good part of the email we are supposed to abide by all of that crap at the end.

But imagine this. What if right before you clicked that “accept these terms and conditions” button an actual person popped up on your monitor and said,

“Hey Pat! Thanks for downloading our software. I just want to let you know that as soon as you do:

  • We will allow your email address to be used by our sister companies. We have a lot of sisters.
  • Your computer will be infiltrated with cookies that will track your every move.
  • For the next three months every corner of your computer will be filled with ads for products similar to the expanding double-edge vibrator you just read about.
  • Every keystroke you make from now on will be analyzed, deconstructed, interpreted and utilized by our team of overpaid Silicon Valley geeks who haven’t seen the sun in two years.

Thanks for your business.”

Would you still click and accept? Maybe not so quickly.

So what do you think happens when you give a patient a two page financial policy to read? Or a long document detailing the risks of third molar surgery? Same with written post-op instructions. People skim them at best (especially if they are as poorly written as most of the ones we have seen) and then they sign them anyway.

Bottom line: If there is Something/Anything (TR) the patient needs to know, it should be explained in simple language by a real person. Sure, it may take a little longer, but it not only adds to the personal patient experience, it helps clear up problems before they happen.

Explain. Listen. Answer. Care. Some things just can’t be accomplished with written documents.

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