AMA: Updates Web Site to Ensure Accurate Data
The American Medical Association is updating guidelines for its Web sites "to reduce worries about misleading information and breaches of confidentiality," the AP/Arizona Daily Star reports. As more consumers turn to the Internet for medical information, the AMA "hopes its new policy becomes a model for other sites and helps consumers assess the reliability of what they read online." Dr. Margaret Winker, deputy editor of the AMA journal, said, "There's a lot more potential for ethical lapses on medical sites than other parts of the Internet, so the bar needed to be raised." The Web updates come as the AMA prepares for this summer's launch of Medem, a for-profit Web site. The Medem site will afford visitors a range of health information and allow them to electronically correspond with doctors. With the new guidelines, the AMA will require its sites to warn users and obtain their consent before collecting personal, medical or other information. Deborah Pierce, an attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, "lauded the AMA guidelines, saying they surpass in detail and protection the policies at most other Web sites" (3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.