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Practice Fusion Violates Some Physicians’ Trust in Sending Millions of Emails to Their Patients

PRACTICE FUSION LOGOWe recently wrote a post about why Free “apps” are bad for the healthcare industry.  And why you should really think before you risk your practice and its reputation on some of these companies.

Excerpt:

1. Free things are never really free. When we don’t fork over dollars for products or services, we think of them as free. But we always give up something. When it comes to online services, that something is usually personal data or content you’ve created — think Practice Fusion, whose privacy policies obscure the line between what you own vs. what they own. For consumers, that might be an acceptable bargain. But for businesses that trade may be unacceptable.

– Read the full article here : http://getreferralmd.com/2013/05/investment-in-healthcare-it

 

So what is wrong with Practice Fusion you ask?

broken

Excerpt:

When Practice Fusion asked their users to prepare for some new “patient communication tools”, the outcry from many doctors was for Practice Fusion to stop focusing new features on patients and instead focus on unsolved physician requests that were made years previous. What I found when I started digging into Practice Fusion’s focus on patients through its launch of Patient Fusion was a much more important story where Practice Fusion’s actions were violating some physicians’ trust and might have issues with HIPAA.

The story starts in early April 2012. With little fanfare (only a generic blog post about Measuring the Patient Experience Using Surveys and two mentions in the Practice Fusion “Progress Note newsletter”) (UPDATE: Practice Fusion’s response at the bottom of this post says they did communicate more than is described here.), Practice Fusion turned on a feature that would email every single patient whenever a progress note was created in the Practice Fusion EHR. The email came addressed as being sent from the doctor and asked the patient to rate and review their provider.

Back dating blogs (Cover up UPDATE)

Wanted to share something about Practice Fusion and the interesting way it is trying to cover its tracks.  We were told that they had notified the public about its intent to email everyone, but did not disclose it in the best possible manner.

Now Practice Fusion creates a blog post explaining the details as to cover it’s tracks, back dates the blog so it seems like they actually did tell the public.  But what they forgot is that the internet keeps track of these types of things.

Take a look at what date the actual blog was posted and then take a look at the Internet archive (using the way back machine internet archive)  The date is April 3rd, 2012, but the actual date of creation was August 22nd, 2013.

Even look at the comments,  they are all from the future.  Interesting right?

waybackmachine

Sorry Practice Fusion, this is not the best way to take care of loose ends.

 Thanks John Lynn for the amazing write up on his EMR & HIPAA blog.   Read the full article here 

 

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Jonathan has a proven record of entrepreneurial success in the healthcare field. As the founder and CEO of ReferralMD, he is responsible for designing the framework of ReferralMD, while managing enterprise sales, marketing and channel development.