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Can AI play a role in creating healthcare content?


How AI can change the way healthcare content is created.

The short answer is yes. But the longer answer is: If it’s used in a thoughtful, careful way, guided by a human hand.

Whether you’re creating content for SEO and marketing purposes, to combat ill-informed articles your patients run across on Dr. Google, or just to answer commonly asked questions, you know it’s important, but it’s hard to do. When your to-do list as a healthcare marketer is a mile long, writing a blog about preventing heart disease may be at the very bottom of the list.

It’s natural to wonder whether an artificial intelligence tool like ChatGPT could lighten your load. But can you rely on an AI platform to generate accurate, high-quality content?

Yes and no. While you shouldn’t fully turn blogging over to AI, you can use these tools to make drafting content easier. That helping hand can start at the beginning — you could use AI to brainstorm topics, to research common questions, to nail down a specific tone and voice, and even to make sure content is written at the right reading level.

But are there any reasons you shouldn’t use it?

As a digital marketing agency in the healthcare field, we have tried it all over the years when it comes to tools that can potentially help our clients. We’re actively considering how AI can be used in a responsible way to make healthcare content better. As the use of AI platforms becomes more widespread and easily accessed, it has a big potential to help marketing folks at every level do their jobs. But just like any tool, it needs best practices built around it to be used well.

If you’re thinking about using AI-generated content for your healthcare practice or hospital, make sure it hits the mark on these three non-negotiables:

1. The content is medically accurate
One of your biggest responsibilities is to ensure the resources you’re providing to patients are accurate.

When you’re digging into resources yourself during the research process, you know where the information came from. You can verify that the details are accurate and described correctly. You can run it by a physician to ensure it’s medically sound. When it comes to healthcare content, this is one step that AI just can’t take care of for you.

Information in healthcare quickly becomes outdated as new research is conducted. It’s important to ensure the information you’re putting forward is up-to-date and clinically backed. AI platforms can pull data that is dated, like the famous ChatGPT which only knows information from 2019 and before. Moreover, AI platforms rarely provide sources so you can view where they pulled their data from and verify that it’s a trusted provider.

So if you use AI to answer certain questions or draft content for you, we recommend always cross-checking the information against reputable sources and having it reviewed by clinicians in your practice.

2. The content offers readers value
A quick Google search will show you that there’s a ton of information out there about nearly every topic under the sun. Most of that content, though, isn’t worth the time it takes to read through it.

That’s especially true in healthcare, where you have a clear divide between organizations creating meaningful and engaging content about health topics and those that are simply throwing keywords on a page.

To truly create value for your patients, you’ll need to make sure any content you publish is valuable. It needs to be useful, helpful, and relevant for your audience. And that means it needs to go beyond the basics to provide readers with something they can’t get somewhere else.

3. The content is one-of-a-kind
If you’re hitting the mark by creating blogs that offer value to readers, odds are that the content will also be unique. But this is an especially important part of making AI content work for you.

That’s because search engines don’t like boilerplate content. In fact, they penalize content that’s recognized as duplicate, plagiarized or syndicated. When using an AI platform, there’s a real risk of producing content that’s overly similar to other content online. On a platform like Google, which has stated that AI-generated content is against guidelines, that could have real consequences. Penalties, or manual actions, from Google can not just impact the page in question, they can drop the search engine rankings for your entire website.

If you use AI as part of the creation process, you will need to thoroughly review, tweak, and edit the content so that it’s your own final product. Reword, rethink paragraphs and concepts, change up the structure of the AI-created blog, and adjust it to optimize for search engines.

The bottom line about this and AI-created content in general? It still needs a human touch.

Rachael Sauceman is the Director of Strategy for Full Media, a Chattanooga, TN-based digital marketing agency specializing in healthcare. Full Media offers a full spectrum of digital marketing capabilities within the healthcare space, including website design, online advertising, SEO, patient experience optimization, and analytics.

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