Using outside sources to validate material is another method to ensure accurate and balanced information. If clinicians or providers do not have time to review marketing materials, marketers can use third-party accredited sources to validate information, advises Elizabeth L. Scott, Principal Stategist for Raven New Media. The third-party option also helps marketers keep their materials fresh as the industry changes and new medical information becomes available.
"This information usually comes bundled in a health information encyclopedia, health risk assessments or service line information. If fed into your website dynamically, the information should be current and refreshed as needed by the source," Scott explained.
Marketers do not need reminders to point out the positives of a particular service. Keeping accurate information in check is also important, even if it means telling the potential patient the risks. In terms of the robotic surgery marketing information that is on many hospital websites, perhaps there should be an added disclaimer such as the one listed at the bottom of the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital website:
As with any surgical procedure, individual results may vary. Benefits of minimally invasive surgery cannot be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure specific.