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Monday, June 11, 2018

HealthEngine Comes Out Of The Bunker And Apologises Unreservedly.

This appeared a little while ago:

HealthEngine chief 'unreservedly apologises' for editing patient reviews


The chief executive of HealthEngine, the online GP booking business at the centre of a review-tampering controversy, has apologised for the company's actions and announced a sweeping review of its "aspirational review system".
Fairfax Media revealed exclusively on Sunday that 53 per cent of the 47,900 "positive" patient reviews on HealthEngine had been edited in some way, with many turned from tepid or negative to "positive customer feedback".
Initially, HealthEngine's head, Marcus Tan, defended the company's review policies, saying it published only positive reviews because it wanted to celebrate high-performing GP practices.
But in a letter published on HealthEngine's home page on Monday, Dr Tan, himself a GP, said the company did not mean to mislead readers and had realised it could do things better.
"User trust is paramount to us at HealthEngine and we are conducting an internal and external review of the HealthEngine Practice Recognition System to ensure clarity, compliance and best practice regarding the way in which we review and publish patient comments," he wrote.
"We have removed all customer feedback from our site until further notice pending the results of our review."
In a separate comment on social media, he said he recognised the way that the review moderators worked had caused some "unintended confusion" and "unreservedly apologised" for this.
HealthEngine said previously it did not publish negative comments because it ran an "aspirational" review system and it edited out identifying details and clinical information to comply with laws and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's (AHPRA) guidelines.
After scrutinising both the original reviews and edited versions, Fairfax Media found numerous examples where relevant but negative points had been deleted to the point at which what was published no longer reflected the patients' opinions.
Lots more here:
Looks like they are sensibly in full crisis response mode – driven by the commercial partners no doubt.
Now we just await the scale of the damage to become clear.
David.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned that HealthEngine's Marcus Tan was one of the participants in the CHF and Global Health policy report, just published.

Whatever kind of insights did he provide, and why should he be acting as a "consumer' representative?

His company's conduct is simply appalling - illegal, even

Wow!

Anonymous said...

That is a sample of what has gone wrong the last few years, there is a license to fax untruths and distorted views, all paid for through public funds.

Anonymous said...


HealthEngine also seems to be misleading, in that it doesnt clearly state that the only doctors it will "find" are customers of irs service.

For example a search for a GP in Glebe NSW only turns up practices in Annandale, Pyrmont (Star City), Balmain or Sydney CBD

Yet I know there are several practices in Glebe, including a couple of quite large ones.

And a search for a dentist in Ashfield, NSW, suggested one in Ashfield WA!

Which begs the question, how many users does it have?

Clearly it's selling the service so that the company is benefitting financially from "talking up" its own clients and potential clients through publication of "positive" patient reviews.

If I was a customer using HealthEngine, I might not be very happy seeing negative reviews...

Is that ethical conduct for medical professionals, or their service providers?

Anonymous said...

why should he be acting as a "consumer' representative?

Why should the government be a "consumer" representative, via CHF?

Yet another conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

The government is a consumer, it is a consumer of our private health information, it is also a consumer of the trust between a health professional and and patient ( well like a swamp of leeches to a blood rich animal).

Anonymous said...

Don't think Dr Tan is a government rep or govt- funded.... He's a healthcare entrepreneur who raised almost $27m in private investment last year, and some $50m since it launched in 2006, according to this report:

"One of Australia’s fastest growing healthcare marketplaces has secured a $26.7 million Series C investment led by Sequoia India.

HealthEngine, headquartered in Perth, will use the funding to develop new products, drive market expansion, fund acquisitions and grow its team, which comprises over 100 staff.

Australian-based Alium Capital, Go Capital, Carsales.com.au founder Greg Roebuck and the founders of Lux Group, including Adam Schwab, also participated in the funding round.

“We started off with two guys in our lounge room,” HealthEngine co-founder and chief executive Dr Marcus Tan tells StartupSmart.

The latest investment brings HealthEngine’s total capital raised to nearly $50 million since it launched in 2006, he says.

According to HealthEngine, 8 million appointments have been booked on the platform from around Australia to date."

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/startupsmart/news-analysis/healthengine-looks-to-grow-team-after-securing-26-7-million-in-round-led-by-sequoia-india/

Apparently investors see massive potential for Health Engine

Anonymous said...

If you looked at the CHF report and assumed all the attendees were there as consumers I think you need to go back and have a closer look.