We will ask you to provide truthful data on the following categories:
What is most helpful to new patients is understanding your experience in your own voice. Details and examples are much more helpful than generalities. For example, rather than saying a doctor is “dedicated” it’s more helpful to provide an example, like “Doctor Smith was very dedicated to my care. She would personally call me whenever I had concerns, and even came in after hours to do an ultrasound when I was nervous about cramps following my positive pregnancy test.”
Our questions were developed with the help of over 50 fertility patients, clinicians from three academic medical centers, and subject matter experts such as psychologists specializing in infertility. We occasionally add or remove questions depending upon feedback from patients and emerging developments in the field. Our goals are to capture as much information as possible during your session, all the while making the process as efficient and painless as possible.
We hate going online and not knowing which perspectives are relatable to us personally. We always want to know, “Is this written by somebody like me? Someone with my same preferences and lifestyle?” Or, in this case, someone with a similar fertility history. By providing some personal information, without identifying yourself by name publicly, your insight will be far more valuable to new patients.
We recognize that many doctors may have participated in your care and so we’d like you to assess those doctors who were primarily responsible in issuing a diagnosis and setting protocols. Often times this is the clinician you met during your initial consultation and may well be a different clinician than who performed a procedure.
We will accept assessments from any patient who has had a consultation with a doctor, but for the moment we only publish those where treatment has begun (for example, the start of medication). We do not require you to have completed your course of treatment with a clinician to write an evaluation. You can make updates in the future as your treatment progresses -- just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to do so.
People will put a lot of faith in your opinions—they’ll use them to make one of the most important decisions of their lives. To be a trustworthy resource, we need to ensure that assessments are written by real patients, not a doctor’s competitors or a clinic’s marketing staff.
We’re looking for any piece of information demonstrating that you were a patient at the clinic you evaluated. Just pick whatever is easiest for you. This could include any of the following:
We know that your experience is a deeply personal one. Your name will never appear publicly with your insights. We manage and store your assessments on Qualtrics, where security practices ensure that the information you provide remains secure. When we import anonymized assessments from Qualtrics for our users to view, we do not store names, initials, or contact information.
Your name, your contact information, and the name of your employer, will not appear with your assessment. If, however, you have written details about your experience that are unique to you, there is a chance your doctor will recognize who you are by reading this description. If you have a unique treatment history, for example 15 rounds of IVF at a small clinic, then your provider might know who is writing.
Most of the data you’ll find on FertilityIQ is provided by fertility patients, the majority of whom have been verified. Our data includes assessments of doctors, nurses and clinics, as well as information on treatment plans, protocols and costs. To provide context, we include medical, demographic and psychographic data from each respondent. We worked closely with patients, clinicians and subject matter experts to determine which information to capture and display.
FertilityIQ focuses on Reproductive Endocrinology and fertility specialists, and does not emphasize generalist OBGYNs. We believe we have profiles for 98% of fertility doctors and clinics and have received assessments for 70% of doctors and 90% of clinics
We typically search for doctors and clinics within a 75 mile radius of the zipcode or region you specified. If you do not see any results, this could be based on one of two issues. The first is that no fertility specialist practices within that radius, which is not uncommon as fertility clinics tend to cluster within the US, and 10 states in the US do not have a single clinic. Secondly, there may well be a fertility specialist within a 75 mile radius but we have failed to account for them. That may be because we previously did not consider that doctor a fertility specialist, or because we made a mistake. Please let us know if you think we have made an omission. Finally, you may see clinicians for whom we have no data. In that case, we have yet to receive an evaluation for that doctor. If you know people who have been treated in your area, please encourage them to contribute an assessment so we can begin to aggregate data and help more people in your community.
We worked with fertility patients, respected clinicians, and subject matter experts to determine the best questions to ask, and the most thoughtful way to display our data. Our rating criteria includes best practices used in the consumer retail and medical industries and were informed by experts in the fields of fertility, data science, customer satisfaction, human psychology, and design.
The first type of scores we provide are simply averages of how patients answered certain questions. For example, the overall recommendation score shows the average, on a 0-10 scale, of how likely patients were to recommend a given doctor or clinic to a friend. We also provide proprietary scores that we have combined from several data points. For example, our score on doctor response time combines data on the duration that patients waited to hear back from a doctor or clinic when they called, and how long it took to schedule an appointment when they needed to be seen. Our score on attention to detail takes into account the volume and severity of medical and clerical errors that patients reported. In doctor and clinic profile pages, you can simply hover over any score or bar chart to learn more about that metric.
We mark an assessment as “verified” when we believe we have confirmed that the patient was treated by the doctor and clinic they are assessing. To do this, we ask patients to provide us a document from the clinic that clearly acknowledges they were treated as a patient. This can include a bill from the clinic, copy of a treatment plan, or correspondence. We then hand-review each document and in some circumstances, ask for an additional document.
The vast majority of data displayed on FertilityIQ comes directly from fertility patients, most of whom we consider to be “verified” and all of whom attest to their authenticity and truthfulness when they complete an evaluation. We also include some data from the CDC (which the CDC cautions readers from using for comparison purposes) and locational data from the clinics themselves.
Our only priority is to serve fertility patients. We do not accept marketing dollars from fertility doctors or clinics and do not allow them to either provide, or influence, content. At times we have conferred with doctors to ensure some of our medically-oriented questions were reasonably constructed.
FertilityIQ has been, and hopefully will be, funded solely by fertility patients. To date we (Deborah and Jake) have paid for all of the development, marketing, legal and operating costs.
FertilityIQ will be entirely free through mid-year 2017. Thereafter, we will begin charging patients for complete access.
FertilityIQ is only useful insofar as it endures to help future patients, and so we must collect revenue to remain sustainable. Our only priority is objectivity and to ensure the integrity of our content, so we refuse to place advertisements on FertilityIQ or accept marketing dollars from third parties, including clinics. Our only loyalty is to patients and they should be our only customers and stakeholders.
We included success data published by the CDC. It is worth noting the CDC cautions readers from drawing comparison, likely given the data is 2 - 3 years old, comparing patient populations is challenging, and doctors and clinics may turn down hard cases or underreport. Our volume of total cycles includes both “fresh” and “frozen” cycles but the success data we display includes only “fresh” cycles. When a clinic has an insufficient volume of cycles within an age category (under 20), we mark data as “?” because the CDC does not represent this data in percentage form. All data is compared against the national average of clinics which perform a sufficient number of cycles within a category. It is common for clinics to merge and, as a result, we use the data that matches with the prevailing name of the clinic. We caution patients from reading too closely into this data as experts disagree on its reliability and utility.
In time we will provide one month of free complete access to patients who have submitted a verified assessment. That patient will be able to use it for themselves or likely will be able to gift it to a friend.