This has also been posted by HealthEngine on their website:
A message to our valued users and customers…
I’m writing to update you on our response to recent media reports about HealthEngine’s Practice Recognition System (PRS) and user data privacy.
Practice Recognition System
Until recently, positive patient feedback on medical practices has been published on the HealthEngine website through the PRS.
The PRS was intended to operate as a positive, aspirational, recognition system, where only the practices rated highest by the practice’s own patients appeared.
Media reports have suggested that HealthEngine may have misled users by removing negative comments from patient feedback under the PRS.
We take these claims very seriously. The trust of our users and customers is important to us and we want to be sure that users clearly understand the information they obtain from our site and that the operation of our PRS complies with all of our regulatory obligations.
That is why we have removed the published feedback component of the PRS from our website pending robust internal and external reviews.
By way of background, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as interpreted by the AHPRA Guidelines, prohibits the publication of any feedback containing reference to the identity of a specific health practitioner or patient or referring to the provision of clinical care services to the patient and that may represent a “testimonial”
Consistent with these aims, we edited some user feedback to seek to ensure that it complied with the National Law and AHPRA Guidelines and with our positive intentions for the PRS. While many of the edits were minor and required by law, it appears there were occasions when our editing went beyond what was required under our regulatory obligations.
In relation to published feedback, our process was to email all users to let them know that their feedback may have been edited. All the practice’s patient feedback, positive and negative, is provided back to the practice unedited.
Over the last three years, we have received very few complaints about the way we have edited published feedback.
Nevertheless, we are seeking to work with relevant regulators and will act decisively on the outcomes of the current reviews to ensure our processes meet best practice standards.
We respect the privacy of our users and appreciate the trust they place in us.
If you have any feedback on how we could improve our services, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com
Dr. Marcus Tan
Founder, CEO & Medical Director