Voice and Tone

Learn how to apply Commure’s voice and choose the right tone, no matter what product, feature, or app you’re building.

What is voice and tone?

Commure’s voice is a reflection of who we are. Our tone adapts appropriately to the context and situation. The best way to decide what tone to use is to ask yourself what physicians are likely feeling when they encounter your message so you can decide how to respond.

For example, when residents update a patient note for the first time, they might be feeling stressed, afraid of making mistakes, and maybe a little bit unsure of what to do next. We can respond to this with positive messaging and guiding them through any actions they still need to do.

When physicians encounter an error message, they might be feeling anxious, frustrated, and worried about the impact it could have on their patients or their time. We can respond to this by stating what went wrong and giving clear direction about how to fix the problem. We never want to use a negative or frightening tone.

Voice guidelines

Confident, not arrogant

  • Use expertise to help physicians succeed, don’t talk down to them
  • Be plain-spoken, not pretentious
  • Be straightforward. When explaining a technical concept, express it in a simple, non-technical way

Empathetic, not overprotective

  • Communicate in a way that respects a physician’s time, emotions and situations
  • Offer physicians practical advice
  • Clearly explain how physicians will be impacted when something goes wrong, but don’t over-explain with redundant content

Transparent, not blunt

  • Be upfront and honest with physicians, even if we make a mistake
  • Back up claims with facts and data
  • Communicate with clarity and empathy—be direct, not insensitive

Tone in action

Here are some examples of how Commure’s tone changes depending on the context. Positive, neutral, or negative situations will change the tone of our message.

Positive situations

Be encouraging and offer physician a next step.

Example: You've added your first patient to a list! Next, create a task and assign it to yourself or someone on your team.

Take credit for physician’ successes and presume to know what they need.

Example: Commure has helped you discharge your first patient! Now you should add more patients to the list.

Express genuine happiness for physician.

Example: Great! You've created and completed your first task!

Risk offending physician by assuming their journey was easy.

Example: Congrats on completing your tasks! Wasn’t that easy? Your patients are on their way to better care.

Neutral situations

Pitch our product by explaining the specific care benefits.

Example: Introducing new patient management features. Quickly and easily access medication history for your patients today.

Only talk about ourselves and assume the experience for physician was, and will be, easy.

Example: Use Commure’s new patient management features. We let you easily access medication history and help you to better know your patients.

Provide enough detail to give physician confidence in the process.

Example: The lab results you ordered are ready for you.

Be overbearing and tell physician how to run their business.

Example: The lab results you ordered are ready. You should log in and review them as soon as you can.

Corollary: Do provide enough details BUT be aware of the context of your message. Always be mindful of protected health information.

Example (notification on personal device): The lab results you ordered are ready.

Never display a patient's private information without there being an authentication layer to protect their PHI!

Example (notification on personal device): The lab results for John Doe are ready.

Negative situation

Be clear about the problem and how physician will be affected.

Example: No patient records were found for this patient. Please check for typos, try a new search by MRN or add their information in manually.

Ask physician to trust us without providing data or context.

Example: No patient was found. This is fine; just add the patient record manually.

Be clear about what went wrong and how physician can fix it.

Example: Could not process your order. You have not specified required information for the pharmacy to prepare their medication.

Don’t use scary, technical words in error messages.

Example: RxERROR23 ordered input must be greater than or equal to 0.