Practice Fusion, maker of a free electronic medical record, has settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission for soliciting patients to review their doctors without disclosing that the reviews would be made public on the Internet.
According to the FTC, Practice Fusion sent emails to patients that appeared to be sent on behalf of individual doctors. Patients thought this review would only be shared with that doctor, so they responded candidly and shared personal health information. Responses from patients were subsequently widely disseminated on the Internet. Under the terms of the agreement, Practice Fusion will need to obtain "affirmative consent" from patients before sharing this information.
The agreement will be subject to public comment through July 8.