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Content Style Preferences and Mechanics

MEDHOST follows AP Style. If AP Style doesn’t cover a particular word, defer to Merriam-Webster

Here are some specific instances that either aren’t covered by or differ from AP Style, or Merriam-Webster for our brand purposes:

MEDHOST Capitalization

MEDHOST should be spelled in all caps in text.

Exception: MEDHOST may be lowercase when writing out

Comma Usage

MEDHOST uses the Oxford/Serial comma.

Example: We provide clinical, financial, and operational software solutions for hospitals.

Individual/Employee Titles

Use uppercase before/after the person’s title.

Example: Bill Anderson, MEDHOST Chief Executive Officer, or MEDHOST Chief Executive Officer, Bill Anderson.


Spell out product names on first reference followed by the acronym. Examples include:

  • Emergency Department Information System (EDIS)
  • Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)

Electronic Health Record (EHR) vs. Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

Use Electronic Health Record (EHR) instead of Electronic Medical Record (EMR).

Community Hospital vs. Rural Hospital

If referring to community hospitals in general, do not refer to them as rural, refer to them as community hospitals.

Exception: Rural hospitals can be community hospitals, but not all community hospitals are rural hospitals. Rural hospitals are a subset of community hospitals. When writing/referring to something that specifically addresses rural hospitals, then you can refer to them as rural.

Critical Access Hospitals vs. General Acute Care

Most Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are General Acute Care Hospitals. However, all General Acute Care hospitals are not CAHs. CAH is a government assigned category. To qualify for that category, a hospital must not have other hospitals within a 35 miles radius. Other restrictions apply like number of inpatient beds (25 beds or less).

Time of Day Format

Use the following formats for specific times of day:

  • 9 p.m.
  • 10:30 a.m.
  • If all needs to be capitalized, use 9 PM
  • Noon (not 12 p.m., 12 noon, etc.)
  • Midnight (not 12 a.m., 12 midnight, etc.)
  • Don’t use minutes for on-the-hour time.
    • 7 a.m.
    • 7:30 p.m.
  • Use a hyphen between times to indicate a time period.
    • 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
  • Specify time zones when writing about an event or something else people would need to schedule. Abbreviate time zones within the continental United States as follows per summer and winter:
    • Eastern time: EDT or EST
    • Central time: CDT or CST
    • Mountain time: MDT or MST
    • Pacific time: PDT or PST
  • Abbreviate decades when referring to those within the past 100 years.
    • the 00s
    • the 90s
  • When referring to decades more than 100 years ago, be more specific:
    • the 1900s
    • the 1890s


Spell out the day of the week and month. Abbreviate if character count is an issue.

  • Saturday, January 24
  • Sat., Jan. 24


Use the em dash within copy, with spaces per the AP Style – indicates a break/addition to a thought. Try not to use more than a couple in a page.

  • MEDHOST and The Sullivan Group are celebrating their partnership — 10 years working together toward better risk management.
  • The transition wasn’t just difficult — it was practically impossible.

Ranges and Spans

Use en dashes to indicate value relationships (distance, time, age, range, span, number counts, etc.):

  • 4–5 p.m.
  • She ran 3–5 miles

In bulleted lists, if you’re opening a list with a consistent set of factors, use a colon instead of dashes of any kind:

  • One: Thought goes here
  • Two: Thought goes here
  • Three: Thought goes here


Headers that are followed by paragraphs and main body copy should not have colons.

  • Example:
    Patient Engagement
    YourCare Community Patient Portal facilitates patient engagement in a rural hospital setting.


Spell out numbers in the beginning of the sentence and if the number is less than 10.

  • Place commas in numbers over 3 digits, for example, 1,000, 150,000, 000. Write out big numbers in full and if you must abbreviate them as in a tweet or a chart, you can use 1k, 150k.
  • Exception: Use numbers when the visual elements call for it (i.e. in an infographic).


Spell out percentage instead of using the symbol % in a sentence.

  • Exception: Use the symbol when visual elements call for it like in infographic or a video with big numerical call outs or a marketing piece.

Decimals and Fractions

Use a period and numerals to indicate decimal amounts.

  • For amounts less than 1, use the numeral zero before the decimal points. Example: 0.05.
  • When the decimal is 1 or less, the type of measurement should be singular. Example: 0.35 feet or 0.55 miles.

Follow these rules when using fractions in your writing:

  • Spell out amounts less than 1 in stories, using hyphens between the words.
  • Example: Two-thirds of the population was underserved. About four-fifths of the patients don’t understand their statements.
  • Use figures for precise amounts larger than 1, converting to decimals whenever practical.
  • For mixed numbers, use 1 1/2, 2 5/8, etc. with a full space between the whole number and the fraction.


When writing about U.S. currency use the dollar sign before the amount. Include a decimal and number of cents if more than 0.

  • $40
  • $39.99

Telephone Numbers

Use periods without spaces between numbers. Use a country code if your reader is in another country.

  • 847.867.5309
  • +011.404.123.4567


Use the degree symbol and the capital F abbreviation for Fahrenheit.

  • 98°F


Use exclamation points sparingly and never more than one at a time.

  • Exclamation points go inside quotation marks. Like periods and question marks, they go outside parentheses when the parenthetical is part of a larger sentence, and inside parentheses when the parenthetical stands alone.
  • Never use exclamation points in failure messages or alerts.
  • Use quotes to refer to words and letters, titles of short works (like articles and poems), and direct quotations.
  • Periods and commas go within quotation marks. Question marks within quotes follow logic—if the question mark is part of the quotation, it goes within. If you’re asking a question that ends with a quote, it goes outside the quote.
  • Lists should have periods at the end if it is full sentence or a statement. Do not use periods at the end of phrases or features in a list.
  • Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes.
    • Did the Dr. say, “You should be better by tomorrow”?
    • The Nurse said, “Dr. John said, ‘he should be better by tomorrow’.”
  • Use semicolons sparingly and support long, complicated sentences with semicolons if a sentence can’t be broken into two or if an em dash can’t be used instead.
  • Don’t use ampersands unless one is part of a company or brand name.
    • Example: MEDHOST and Imprivata, not MEDHOST & Imprivata.

File Extensions

When referring to a file extension type, use all uppercase without a period. Add a lowercase s to make plural.

  • GIF
  • PDF
  • HTML
  • JPGs


When quoting someone in a blog post or other publication use the past tense.

“MEDHOST has really helped our revenue cycle,” said John Smith.

Names and Titles

The first time you mention a person in writing refer to them by their first and last names. On all other mentions, refer to them by their first name.

Capitalize the names of departments and teams (but not the word “team” or “department”).

  • Product team
  • Human Resources department


The first time you mention a school, college, or university in a piece of writing refer to it by its full official name. On all other mentions, use its more common abbreviation.

  • Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)
  • MTSU

States, Cities, and Countries

Spell out all city and state names. Don’t abbreviate city names except in press releases per AP style.

All cities should be accompanied by their state with the exception of: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC.

On first mention, write out United States. On subsequent mentions, U.S. is fine.

URLs and Websites

Capitalize the names of websites and web publications. Don’t italicize.
Example: Facebook, Wikipedia

Avoid spelling out URLs, but when you need to, leave off the https://.

Writing About MEDHOST

Our company’s legal entity name is “MEDHOST, Inc.” Our trade name is “MEDHOST.” Use “MEDHOST, Inc.” only when writing legal documents or contracts. Otherwise, use “MEDHOST.”

  • Refer to MEDHOST as “we,” not “it.”

Writing About Other Organizations

Honor companies’ own names for themselves and their products. Go by what’s used on their official website.

  • Refer to a company or product as “it” (not “they”).

Slang and Jargon

Write in plain English. If you need to use a technical term, briefly define it so everyone can understand.

Only use slang and jargon if it makes sense in a marketing piece to draw attention or is based on keyword search volume.

Text Formatting

Use italics to indicate the title of a long work (like a book, movie, or album) or to emphasize a word.

  • The patient really wanted to be discharged.

Use italics when citing an example of a MEDHOST product element, or referencing button and navigation labels in step-by-step instructions:

  • To submit a record, click Enter.

Rev. date 11/4/2021