November 24, 2015

10 common errors (and how to avoid them)



1. It’s HIPAA, not HIPPA 

  • I just think of HIPPA, the HAPPY HIPPO, who doesn’t belong in anything you write.


2. Watch out for autocorrect changing EHR to HER 

  • Go into your Word settings and manually add EHR to the dictionary.


3. A hospital (or any organization, for that matter) is an “it”, not a “they” 

  • Remember to use a singular pronoun rather than a plural when referring back to an organization.


4. “Data” and “criteria” are actually plural nouns 

  • So, you’d say: “The data show”, rather than “the data shows”. Try replacing the word “data” with “results”. If the sentence makes sense, you are good to go.


5. Put one, not two, spaces after the punctuation mark at the end of a sentence 

  • The antiquated practice of inserting a double space comes from the days of typewriters. We no longer use typewriters. Time to move on.


6. Payer vs. payor and healthcare vs. health care 

  • Both versions are acceptable, but just be sure to stay consistent.


7. Overuse of em dashes 

  • It’s OK to admit you are confused by colons and semicolons. It is not OK to use em dashes as a means of avoidance. Take some time to learn how to use colons and semicolons. That is what the internet is for. 
  • Bonus Tip: Don’t use a standard dash instead of an em dash. Create an em dash with the shortcut: Ctrl-Alt-[numeric pad minus sign].


8. I.e. and e.g. are not interchangeable 

  • Think of i.e. as meaning “in essence” and remember when to use e.g. by thinking of it as “for eg-sample”.


9. Do not use an apostrophe with plural acronyms (Bonus tip: always spell out an acronym the first time you use it, even if you think it’s an obvious one) 

  • Correct: What do you know about ACOs? Incorrect: How many HIE’s exist?


10. When writing numbers, spell out single-digit numbers (there are two labs) and use numerals for numbers with two or more digits (we need to onboard 21 new outpatient centers).

  • There are exceptions, but this is a good rule of thumb to follow.


Did I miss one? Tweet me at @AriaMarketing to let me know or to share which error irks you the most! 

Blog post written by:
Ross Homer
Author: Ross Homer
Senior Vice President