Editorial Policy

Our Editorial Policy outlines the evaluation process all health information content goes through. We want you to rely on us as a trustworthy, quality resource of health information. Medical experts have reviewed the content on this site for clinical accuracy. You’ll have information on who wrote an article and when it was written and updated.

As a user of this site it is important that you are informed about our editorial processes and guidelines. We want you to know that we value your use of the site and want to earn your trust. As a health care organization, we strive to provide you with accurate, comprehensive, and reliable health information that you can use to inform yourself as patients or caregivers. We have not provided health information written for a doctor or in medical terms, unless you are accessing a professional health content site.

The health information we provide for consumers is written specifically for consumers and patients to understand symptoms, a diagnosis, or a complicated illness. In addition, we provide you with a multitude of resources that supply you with more information on community self-help groups and access to content that can help you find the same clinical research that your doctor or clinician uses.

We feel it is critical that you know about our editorial processes so you can judge, on your own, the type of health information we provide on this site. The following sections provide detailed information on who provides the information for us, how the health information is evaluated, who writes the information, and how we use sponsored health information. In addition, we outline our conflict of interest policy.

It is important you understand that the health information content offered on this site cannot replace nor is it meant to represent a health care patient-provider relationship. You must always consult with a professional for diagnosis and treatment for specific health problems.

What you can expect from us

How we evaluate the health information you see

We strive to review and evaluate the health information that is provided here on this site and make every effort to ensure that it is clinically and medically accurate, reliable, complete, and timely.

What you can expect from us

  • We will post, whenever possible, who wrote the material, where it came from, who reviewed it, and when it was written and last updated.
  • We have not presented to you, to our knowledge, any health information that is false, misleading, or has claims of therapeutic benefit without sufficient clinical support.
  • We do not, to our knowledge, allow health information on this site that promotes ineffective or dangerous products.
  • We will make every effort to show to you all relevant information about sponsored content so you can evaluate and create an opinion on such content.
  • It is not our intention to gather information about you on what health information you look at that could be used to identify you. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on data collection and use.

How we use sponsored health information

In some instances, we allow companies to sponsor health information topics or specific pages of content on our site. We do not intend to allow sponsors to influence content. However, sponsored programs that appear on the site may contain information that the sponsor writes or has written for it. In these and in all cases where sponsorship appears, our goal is to provide you with the following information, when it relates to the sponsored program:

  • The sponsor’s involvement in selecting the content that is shown.
  • The sponsor’s involvement in preparing the content that is shown.
  • The sponsor’s involvement in search engine priority listing of results.
  • The sponsor’s involvement in product listings.
  • The sponsor’s involvement in other preferences or presentations of information that appear before users.
  •  A description of revenues or fees that are generated from sponsored programs.

How we identify conflicts of interest

As a consumer of this site, you deserve to know if any of the authors who publish articles and other information have a conflict of interest with the topic they are writing about. A conflict of interest takes place when an author, reviewer, or editor has a bias toward the material he or she is writing, evaluating, or editing. This bias causes a conflict when it influences the person’s ability to render neutral opinions, research, comments, or judgments. Sample conflicts of interest in the health care field are in the area of scientific research and specific financial relationships or exclusive affiliations with companies or organizations that have potential influence over that research; for example, a medical researcher who conducts medical research on a drug and is paid by the pharmaceutical company that manufacturers that drug. Conflicts can additionally exist through employment, stock ownership, family affiliations, consulting arrangements, and academic competition.

It is our goal to provide as much unbiased health information content as possible to you. However, there will be instances where authors, reviewers, and editors have existing financial relationships or affiliations that may hint at a conflict of interest. We will make every effort to disclose these conflicts so you can make an educated decision about how that conflict may influence the information you’re viewing.

The conflict of interest policies set forth here are modeled after the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

These are our conflict of interest goals:

  • We ask all authors who publish information on our site to sign a conflict of interest agreement for each document they write.
  • We ask authors to tell us if a conflict exists, and if one does to detail how that conflict influences the material; for example, if the author has a financial relationship or affiliation with a company or holds stock in a company that he or she is writing about.
  • We ask editors or reviewers to disclose conflicts of interest and request that they disqualify themselves from reviewing or editing specific material if there is a potential conflict.
  • We strive to post any conflict of interest along side the information we publish to give details on the conflict so you can decide if the information you read is influenced.
  • We ask the companies from which we license health information to tell us if any of their authors have conflicts of interest, and if so to provide that information to us so we can inform you.
  • We will not intentionally publish any health information or research articles that have been directly influenced by an author’s research so much that it skews results toward being favorable to an author’s financial relationships or affiliations.
  • If fraud or plagiarism is discovered, we will immediately bring it to the attention of the appropriate individuals and organizations and remove the information from our site until an investigation is completed.