The internet has become the most popular way that people gather information. When we have a question about anything, we turn on the computer and “Google” our way to an answer. This is a great way to find answers and information for many of life’s everyday questions, but is it the best way to find reliable information when it comes to your fertility questions?
Understanding your fertility and the diagnosis and treatment options you may undergo can seem daunting. There are many websites out there that offer varying degrees of information on infertility. One way to determine the value of the information on these websites is to find out if the website or organization hosting the website is accredited by a qualified organization.
Accreditation is the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented. There are several nonprofit and non-governmental organizations that provide credentials to hospitals and healthcare organizations in the U.S. Here is a list of a few of the healthcare accreditation organization in the United States.
- The Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program is dedicated to helping organizations maintain the highest standards in patient care and comply with changing government regulations and a constantly evolving healthcare environment.
- The Joint Commission which accredits over 19000 health care organizations and programs.
- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) manages voluntary accreditation programs for individual physicians, health plans, and medical groups.
- The Health On the Net Foundation (HONcode) certification is the oldest and the most used ethical and trustworthy code for medical and health related information available on the internet.
- The Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) is an impartial, third party company that reviews the information on the site using a panel of physicians and nurses to make sure it is accurate and up- to-date.
It is a good practice to focus on finding information that has been reviewed by independent experts in the field. To determine if the website or organization hosting the site has been accredited, it should be listed on the site or check the “About” section of their website. If you cannot easily find the accreditation information, they are most likely not accredited.
You also want to make sure that the information you need is easy to find. Most fertility-related websites are designed in a progressive manner, walking you through the stages of infertility as you are most likely to encounter them. This allows you to read and comprehend your current and next step, without being burdened by learning information that you may never need.
By understanding more about website accreditations, you should be able to make your time on the web much more productive and significantly reduce the stress surrounding finding accurate and high quality information.