TECHNOLOGY

Patient testimonials are unethical and should be banned


Yet, he says, a clinician seeking any gift should always think: “Is the patient really in a vulnerable position where he or she is uncomfortable saying no? Or do they have the impression, justified or not, that their care will be affected?” “

Even if health Providers refrain from directly asking patients about false advertising, so long as they are allowed to advertise themselves by coordinating a selection of individual patient outcomes, they risk misleading potential patients with a misleading image of the results – what Wynia callsDeception, blowing and spinning. “

Some providers rate reviews from sites like Zocdoc and describe them as marketing material, sometimes with identifying details attached. Zocdoc, a New York company founded in 2007, focuses on audit The credibility of the reviewers and the ban fraud cases directly on its platform. Once they are online, Doctors can direct reviews, filtered by star rating so that the most glowing ones are highlighted, right for practicing websites.

Then there is the issue of incentives. In one of her training videos, an employee at RealSelf, the platform for cosmetic procedures, notes that the FTC rules commend Practitioners forbid incentivizing their patients to write reviews, but direct them to an alternative solution: “It is not against the rules of RealSelf to offer your patients incentives to write a review, and you can take advantage of our incentives,” such as entering a monthly $500 raffle, “instead of your own space.” Josh King, the company’s general counsel, adds: “It’s not about doctors at all I can not Motivating reviews. It’s just that your typical plastic surgery practice doesn’t have the knowledge, the tools, or the consumer scale to offer incentives in a compatible way, and they might get in trouble if they try.”

Doctors and other practitioners shouldn’t snooze, puff, or spin — or anticipate the perfect moment to request a favor from a recovering patient until the next rush. Nor should they allow audit firms to offer awards to their patients. Rather than a patchwork system of standards and laws, or engaging in guesswork about the timing of gifts, a blanket ban on patient testimonials and the use of patient data in marketing would protect current and future patients while allowing practitioners to focus on care.

There are other ways to advertise medical services. “The public has a right and a vested interest in knowing whether a hospital, clinic, or medical practice offers some kind of service,” such as gastric bypass surgery, says Heron Albert Einstein. ‘You can talk broadly about ‘this is something we offer, and if you are interested please contact us. Because it’s more about the organization, not the individual.”

Or there is the strategy used by Paul Hughes, a British psychotherapist with offices in Reading, Oxford and London. he have page On his clinic’s website entitled “Why no testimonials? A page about ethics.” (Websites full of testimonial videos are popular with UK therapists.) He wrote that the testimonies represent a breach of confidentiality, put the patient in a difficult position, and represent only a snapshot in time. He has included some snippets from his Google review page and a link to his full list. “We are there to serve the interests of the client,” he told me. “They are not there to serve our country.”


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