Editorial Style Guide
acronyms Not preferred. Spell out University Health System on first reference; Health System on second reference.
ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD OK on subsequent reference.
Affordable Care Act Shorthand for the formal title of the healthcare overhaul that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010. Its full name is Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. ACA is OK on subsequent reference. "Obamacare" in quotation marks are acceptable, but use sparingly.
board-certified physician Board is not capped.
bulleted lists Be consistent. Please use the same style in a two-page layout spread or on a webpage. For complete sentences, use periods. For phrases, use no periods. If the list is a mix of both, either rewrite so they have parallel construction or use no periods on all items.
Center for Clinical Excellence The clinical education program for nurses, techs and other clinical staff at University Health System.
Center for Learning Excellence The department that manages all annual competencies and other professional opportunities at University Health System.
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC is OK on subsequent reference.
chemotherapy “Chemo” is acceptable in headlines where there is a space constraint. Otherwise, spell out.
Conditions HIPAA rules allow us to release a one-word patient condition to the public under strict guidelines.
We follow the recommendations of the American Hospital Association and Texas Hospital Association in using only these conditions with the public:
- Undetermined: Patient awaiting a physician and assessment.
- Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
- Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
- Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
- Critical: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
- The term “stable” is not a condition to use with the media or public, alone or in combination.
COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. OK on subsequent reference.
CareLink CareLink is not insurance. CareLink is a “patient responsibility” model financial assistance program that was created 20 years ago to ensure that Bexar County residents without access to affordable health insurance could receive services through University Health System.
Community First Health Plans nonprofit HMO owned by University Health System.
DAISY award A recognition program. The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses (The DAISY Award) is sponsored by the DAISY Foundation to honor the work nurses do for patients and families every day. University Health System honors nurses monthly. Patients can nominate nurses for the award.
dates We do not use -nd, -st, -rd on dates. Dates should be listed as June 14. No superscripts are required.
dengue fever Use the full name, lowercase, on first reference. Dengue OK on subsequent reference.
diseases Do not capitalize arthritis, emphysema, leukemia, pneumonia, etc. When a disease is known by the name of a person or geographical area identified with it, capitalize only the proper noun element: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Ebola virus, etc. Avoid such expressions as: He is battling cancer. She is a stroke victim. Use neutral, precise descriptions: He has stomach cancer. She is a stroke patient.
doctor When referring to a physician on first reference, include their title, first and last name (e.g. Dr. Jane Doe); on second reference include their title and last name (e.g. Dr. Doe).
double spaces We do not allow double spaces after periods, no matter what you were taught in middle or high school. Due to modern typography and computer layouts, double spaces are no longer necessary.
drug names Capitalize trademarks and proprietary names of drugs and brand names of manufactured products and equipment. Do not capitalize generic names or descriptive terms. Examples: The patient had swallowed 46 tablets of acetaminophen. The best-selling brand of acetaminophen is Tylenol.
EHR electronic health records. Spell out.
EMR electronic medical records. Spell out.
Epic Our new electronic health record; capitalize only the E.
EpiPen: EpiPen is a brand name. Unless you specifically mean that brand, use epinephrine auto-injector.
ExpressMed: our walk-in care centers
FDA Food and Drug Administration. OK on first reference.
First come, first served
George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System, note diacritical mark.
Hashtag use for events, sparingly
Healthcare one word unless in a proper name (Center for Health Care Services)
HIPAA short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
healthyUexpress mobile mammography, children’s & primary care units
HMO short for health maintenance organization
homepage no spaces, no capitals
inpatient no hyphen, no space
intranet; internet both lowercase, per Associated Press Style
Level I trauma center lowercase t and c; Level I means we offer the highest level of surgical care for trauma patients
listings of locations we use the following conventions:
- Room 5.503b, Rio Tower, University Hospital <Building, Tower, Elevator, Room>
- C Elevator <The cap on elevator depends on context. Use your best judgment.>
- Suite 142 (Spell out suite.)
- For invitations, use this style:
For a list of our current locations, please visit University Health System.
log in (v); login (n)
Maternal-Fetal Medicine with hyphen. Only capitalize if we are referring to the University Health System program. It is NOT capitalized if you are speaking in the general sense about maternal-fetal medicine. Do not abbreviate to MFM.
Medicaid A U.S. federal-state program that helps pay for healthcare for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, and for low-income families with children.
Medicare The U.S. federal healthcare insurance program for people aged 65 and older, and for the disabled. Eligibility is based mainly on eligibility for Social Security.
NIH National Institutes of Health. Spell out on first reference. Note the plural on institutes.
numbers In general, spell out one through nine; 10 and up uses numerals. Use numerals when it precedes a unit of measure (1 cup, 5 yards) or an age (8 years old). Also No. 1, No. 2., 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Do not use superscripts.
NurseLink NurseLink gives direct access to the nursing expertise of University Health System. Our telephone triage system is available for our patients 24 hours a day. NurseLink is available to patients of University Medicine Associates (UMA) and any University Health System-based clinic. NurseLink also serves as the after-hours call center for Community First Health Plans (CFHP) members. 210-358-3000
percent You can use the % symbol with numbers in text 87%, .14% However, if you are spelling out the number, you must spell out percent: Four percent of four-year-old girls account for 99.9% of the tantrums.
Perinatal-Neonatal only capitalize if we are referring to a University Health System program. It is NOT capitalized if you are speaking in a general sense about perinatal-neonatal medicine. Do not abbreviate.
Peveto Center for Pastoral Care The Peveto Center for Pastoral Care is a quiet and welcoming space where people of all faiths and denominations can come for spiritual and emotional support. Located near the main lobby of University Hospital. Peveto Center on second reference.
phone numbers The San Antonio metro area now has two area codes. Please use the area code, 210-555-5555 or 726-555-555. No parenthesis around the area code, do not use periods between the numbers. DO NOT include personal direct phone lines or personal cell phone numbers in marketing copy.
Physician (See under doctor)
PPO short for preferred provider organization
Regions if it is an accepted name, such as South Texas or Central Texas, we capitalize the reference.
SaludArte Healing Arts program/healing gardens
Teaching hospital A teaching hospital, or academic medical center, is different from a community hospital. An academic medical center:
- Provides patients and the community with healthcare for everyday health needs, and the most specialized and advanced services for complex illnesses and injuries.
- Offers unique care not available anywhere else in the region.
- Teaches generations of healthcare professionals to assure your family’s health and well-being for years to come.
- Develops new and better ways to care for patients through outcomes-based research and the development of new technologies.
University Hospital, in partnership with UT Health San Antonio, is the premier teaching hospital for San Antonio and South Texas offering a higher level of coordinated care for routine medical care to the most complex diseases, disorders and injuries.
times we use Associated Press style. 10 a.m., 4 p.m. You must use lowercase and the periods. Please use noon and midnight rather than 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. for reader clarity. Example: 10 a.m.-noon; 10-11 a.m.; 4:30-5 p.m.
titles we use the following conventions:
- No periods in titles abbreviations: PhD, MA, RPH, MPH, MD, DO, PA, DPT, NP
- Titles that precede a name may be capitalized: Hospital Administrator Mike Roussos
- Titles after a name are lowercase: Mike Roussos, hospital administrator
- We discourage title soup. Dr. Allan Parsons or Allan Parsons, MD NOT Dr. Allan Parsons MD.
- We discourage listing all titles of UT Health faculty: Keep the listings to the bare minimum, preferably the one that most connects to the Health System. If the choices are Distinguished Chair of Amazing Medicine or Department Head of Emergency Medicine, we would prefer the latter to the former.
TRICARE Healthcare program for active-duty and retired members of the uniformed services, as well as their family and survivors.
Triple Aim plus
Tuberculosis spell out on first reference. TB is acceptable on second reference.
University Medicine Associates Our physician practice primary care and multi-specialty group of University Health System. UMA is appropriate on second reference.
UT Health The physician practice group for UT Health San Antonio. Formerly called UT Medicine.
UT Health San Antonio the academic and research campus, one of seven in the University of Texas System. Formerly called the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
University Health System Not University Hospital System. No s on System. Health System on second reference.
website, webpage no spaces, no capitals
website addresses/urls do not capitalize letters, do not include http://www unless required to access a specific website.
- Exceptions may be made for design purposes.
West Nile virus
WHO World Health Organization. OK on subsequent reference.
Zika virus a virus that can cause severe birth defects if a pregnant woman becomes infected. A very small proportion of people infected with Zika develop Guillain-Barre, a syndrome that causes temporary muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Zika is primarily spread by a type of tropical mosquito called Aedes aegypti. Usage: the Zika virus or just Zika.