The Healthgrades Editorial Process

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Healthgrades Editorial Mission

Millions of people come to Healthgrades to compare providers, review hospital quality, make appointments with clinical providers, prepare for their healthcare appointments, and research our comprehensive health and wellness information.

The Healthgrades editorial team develops complete, objective and meaningful health information across digital platforms to help people choose the right doctor, right hospital and right care.

Healthgrades is the long-standing leader in making information on hospitals and providers more accessible and transparent. Our hospital performance ratings, clinical outcomes, and patient safety data provide an objective view of quality in America’s hospitals. Combined with our in-depth provider profiles, personalized decision tools, and credible health content, you can research, select and connect with a provider or hospital that fits your specific healthcare needs.

Our editorial content provides condition, treatment and wellness content to help keep you in your best health. Whether you’re researching a specific symptom, condition or procedure, or you’re simply seeking information on staying healthy, you’ll find the information you need at Healthgrades.

Healthgrades Contributors

Our writers include physicians, pharmacists, and registered nurses with firsthand clinical experience. Many of our writers are health authors, podcasters, and members of professional organizations including the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

All new writers undergo review by the Healthgrades editorial team, including past credits and writing samples. Healthgrades writers have contributed to other national publications including the Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, Teen Vogue, U.S. News & World Report, and Medscape.

Learn more about our contributors

Healthgrades Medical Review

The condition, treatment and wellness content published on Healthgrades is developed according to a rigorous editorial process that includes extensive review by medical professionals. Our content, however, is not intended to provide medical care. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, always consult your doctor. All information on Healthgrades is for educational purposes only.

All condition, treatment and wellness content is medically reviewed by at least one medical professional. Our content is backed by evidence from sources, such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, government health and medical organizations, objective health organizations, and groups of medical specialists. The name and credentials of the medical reviewer are printed at the end of each article.

Learn more about our medical reviewers

Healthgrades Sourcing and References Guidelines

We use several online sources for medical research. When choosing sources, writers pay particular attention to medical information: symptoms or causes of a disease; preventive advice; treatments, or other therapeutic measures. This information must be referenced or attributed to unquestionable sources to ensure our credibility and accommodate online accreditation requirements.

Sources for Healthgrades editorial content include:

  • Information published by the government, such as online material or publications from the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • National, nonprofit organizations active in fighting a specific disease, such as the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, or American Lung Association

  • Professional organizations in a specific specialty or patient population, such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Thoracic Association, or American Academy of Pediatrics

  • For definition purposes only: Well-established, peer-reviewed medical dictionaries and encyclopedias. Examples include Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, The Merck Manual, or The American Medical Association’s Encyclopedia of Medicine. 

  • National experts with exceptional credentials. Experts should be board-certified and/or practicing in the specialty/topic for which they are providing information or perspectives. 

  • Leading, major medical center sites, such as MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins

  • Drug reference resources including U.S. government websites, primarily from the NIH, Department of Health and Human Services

  • Recent articles from peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association or The New England Journal of Medicine

Healthgrades Editorial Pillars

The Healthgrades Editorial Policy is guided by five pillars of editorial integrity in all content we produce and publish. Those five pillars are: accuracy, objectivity, timeliness, transparency and privacy.

Accuracy

All condition, treatment and wellness content is medically reviewed by at least one medical professional. Our content is backed by evidence from sources, such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, government health and medical organizations, objective health organizations, and groups of medical specialists. The name and credentials of the medical reviewer are printed at the end of each article.

Healthgrades also collects data and other information regarding hospitals, doctors, and other providers of healthcare services from a variety of industry-recognized sources. We use proprietary processes and algorithms to select, compile and adjust the data to generate our hospital ratings. White papers, available on Healthgrades.com, offer transparency into our rating methodology.

Objectivity

Our mission is to provide the most objective and accurate health information that is both practical and relevant for a wide variety of health topics. It is important to use the information for educational purposes only, not as health or medical advice. You should always talk with your healthcare professional to discuss any questions you have about your medical condition or treatment.

Timeliness

Our condition, treatment and wellness content is medically reviewed once every two years. Updates occur as required by medical advances. The most recent review date is posted at the end of each article.

We update Healthgrades hospital ratings and awards annually. We update doctor and provider information nearly daily. Doctors and other healthcare providers can also update their profiles to provide the latest information about their areas of expertise, conditions treated, and procedures performed.

Transparency

Healthgrades is committed to transparency in all of our content: editorial, sponsored, user-generated, and provider-generated. We accomplish this by:

  • Publishing the sources of our editorial content

  • Clearly labeling sponsored, user-generated, and provider-generated content

  • Displaying the number of responses to our provider reviews

  • Publishing our hospital ratings methodology along with our list of award winners 

Read below to learn more about our policies regarding various forms of third-party content.

Privacy

Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. has developed a privacy policy for the benefit of the users of its website and mobile products, to demonstrate our serious commitment to protecting privacy. Find more information about the Healthgrades Privacy Policy.

Third-Party Content on Healthgrades

For some offerings, Healthgrades will publish content produced by, licensed from, or funded by third parties. Healthgrades maintains transparency about the sources of third-party content, and about the relationships between the Healthgrades editorial team and third parties.

Licensed Content

When Healthgrades licenses editorial content from third-parties for publication on our site, our staff reviews the third-party’s editorial practices to ensure consistency with Healthgrades editorial policies and standards. All licensed content is labeled as originating from the third-party.

Third-Party Advertisers

Healthgrades.com is a free offering supported by advertisements. All advertisements are clearly marked with the word “Advertisement” or “AD.”

Additionally, we clearly identify all content that is provided by third-party advertisers. Content provided by third-party advertisers is not subject to the Healthgrades Editorial Policy. The Healthgrades editorial staff does not control, influence or endorse this content. The language used to identify content created by a third-party advertiser includes:

  • From Our Sponsor

  • From Our Partner

  • From Our Advertiser

  • Sponsored

  • Advertisement

Certain content packages may be editorially managed by the Healthgrades staff, and funded by third-party advertisers. In these cases, the following attribution will appear at the top of the page: This content is created by the Healthgrades editorial team and brought to you by an advertising sponsor.

The complete explanation of the editorial independence from advertising partners is as follows:

This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising partner. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, timeliness and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page, except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades Advertising Policy.

Find more information about the Healthgrades Advertising Policy.

User-Generated Content

Throughout Healthgrades, users may be encouraged to provide feedback or perspectives on their healthcare experiences, as well as on Healthgrades features and products. These opportunities may include:

  • Writing provider reviews about the care received from that provider

  • Taking a nine-question survey about providers (including an open-text comment question, sometimes referred to as a review)

  • Occasional surveys sent to newsletter subscribers or online marketing focus groups

Each of these opportunities allows our users to share their personal opinions in the form of real-life health experiences and personal stories. Content supplied by users is not governed by this Editorial Policy, but all user content is reviewed for compliance with our business and privacy rules.

Content that does not meet our business and privacy rules will not be posted to Healthgrades. We do not edit or medically review user-generated content for medical accuracy. All patient reviews are attributed to the individual author, when available. You can flag inappropriate reviews by clicking on the link at the bottom of each post.

Examples of user-generated content that will not be posted to Healthgrades include:

  • Hateful or vulgar language

  • Comments not related to the appointment or health experience or quality of care received

  • Illegal, controversial or objectionable activities

  • Content that discriminates against, ridicules or disparages an individual or group on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability or any other status that the Healthgrades editorial team deems inappropriate

  • Marketing material that directly advertises a service or a product

  • Personal information including but not limited to phone number, address, and email address

  • Personal website links or mentions

  • Mentions or endorsements of specific brands including pharmaceuticals

  • Content that mentions another patient or potential patient by full name

  • Pictures that you do not have the rights to use or distribute; or inappropriate pictures or videos

  • Content that is deemed unproductive, off-topic or inappropriate by Healthgrades in its sole discretion

  • Content that is deemed obscene or graphic by Healthgrades in its sole discretion

Provider-Generated Content

Healthgrades allows medical providers with a registered Healthgrades account to upload content to the Healthgrades website and mobile products. This content can be in the form of “About Me” videos, professional photographs or Care Philosophy statements.

All provider-generated content is clearly attributed to the contributor. Additionally, the Healthgrades editorial staff may solicit content from provider contributors and publish it throughout the Healthgrades digital platforms. Provider-generated content is not reviewed by the Healthgrades editorial staff for accuracy. Provider-generated content should not be construed as medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, always consult your doctor.

How to Provide Feedback to Healthgrades

We welcome feedback from our readers about what we’re doing well, what topics you would like to learn more about, and what we could do better. While we are not able to reply individually to comments or inquiries, our customer service team does read all feedback.

Contact us

Healthgrades may update this Editorial Policy from time to time in its sole discretion.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2021 Oct 27
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.