We present this policy to explain how health information on our website is gathered, reviewed and updated. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact us.
The Aetna InteliHealth website and Simple Steps To Better Dental Health websites established in 1996, have a relationship with Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Columbia University College of Dental Medicine to help us meet our goal of bringing you the most credible health information on the Internet.
Although the Aetna InteliHealth website is owned by Aetna, the writers and editors in the Aetna InteliHealth operating unit maintain absolute editorial independence. This means that these individuals make decisions about the information on the site free of outside influence. Our content partners have editorial control over the accuracy of the medical and dental information in the materials we create for our site.
We strive to empower our users with trusted solutions for healthier lives. You should be aware that the words, images and tools on our site are provided for informational purposes only and can be used to augment your relationship with your health care professional. They are not intended to provide medical advice or serve as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. Users should always promptly consult with a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment of specific health problems and consult with a physician before starting a fitness regimen. The use of our site is subject to our disclaimer and terms and conditions.
A goal of the Aetna InteliHealth and HMS editorial staffs is to provide consumer health information that will address the most frequent inquiries. New topics are chosen based on consumer interest, new developments that influence current practice, advances in prevention and the prevalence of conditions.
Newly created material may originate from Aetna InteliHealth or a staff or contracted writer, an HMS faculty member or an HMS medical writer. All text pieces, graphics and tools are subject to a standardized review process. For medical content, HMS faculty and Aetna InteliHealth editorial staff review and edit the material until it is jointly agreed and accepted by both parties.
Aetna InteliHealth currently has an agreement with the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine to develop new content and expand existing content. Before July 1, 2004, dental content for our dental health consumer site was created and reviewed by faculty from another dental school.
We go to great lengths to attain our goal of providing accurate, current and useful health information. To do this, we primarily rely on the expertise of our academic partners, Harvard Medical School and Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. Before material created by us is posted on our site, medical professionals who serve on the editorial board of this institution review the material for medical accuracy. Our site also contains material created by Harvard Medical School, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, news services (such as The Associated Press and HealthDay), government agencies (such as the National Institutes of Health), non-profit organizations (such as the Arthritis Foundation) and other content partners (such as the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary).
- In August 2000, the Aetna InteliHealth website began a relationship with Harvard Medical School, one of the world's leading medical institutions. The 10,000-member faculty of Harvard Medical School prides itself on the most advanced clinical care, teaching and research. Disseminating timely, accurate and thorough medical information to the public has been the mission of the medical school's Harvard Health Publications for the last 30 years.
- • In December 2004, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine agreed to provide oral health content for Simple Steps To Better Dental Health (formerly InteliHealth Dental), Aetna InteliHealth's consumer dental health information website. Columbia continues to develop new content and expand existing content with the goal of demonstrating the connection between dental health and overall wellness.
- Prior to July 1, 2004, dental content on Aetna InteliHealth's consumer dental health information Web site was created or reviewed by faculty from another dental school.
- From its founding until July 2000, the Aetna InteliHealth website had a relationship with another highly respected U.S. academic medical institution which provided medical professionals to review for medical accuracy material created by Aetna InteliHealth during that time.
- The Aetna InteliHealth website has relationships with several government agencies and non-profit organizations that provide material for our site. We use material from agencies and organizations that have been approved as quality sources of information by our primary academic partner.
- Like many other major health websites, Aetna InteliHealth uses news articles provided by prominent news agencies.
- We also use materials, including information and databases, licensed to us from third parties. These materials include, among others, the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, and a drug database containing information from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
We want you to know the source of the material you are viewing on our site. You can find this source information on all material. These are the types of source identifications you will see, either at the top or the bottom of the material:
- "Medical Content Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School" or "InteliHealth Content." These identify material created by our website writers. Members of the faculty of Harvard Medical School, who serve on the editorial board for our site, review the medical content of those articles.
- "Created by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School." This identifies material created by medical professionals from Harvard Medical School.
- "Reviewed by the Faculty of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine." This identifies material created by our website writers and reviewed by members of the faculty of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine serving on its editorial board for our site.
- "Created by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine." This identifies material created by dental professionals from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
- Material provided by government agencies and non-profit organizations is identified by the name and/or logo of the agency or organization at the top of the material.
- "Used by permission of the copyright owner." When this notation appears at the bottom of an article AND no agency or organization name appears at the top of the article, the material was either created by our website writers and reviewed by medical professionals from Aetna InteliHealth's former academic partner or created by medical professionals from Aetna InteliHealth's former academic partner.
- "Ask The Expert" These questions are submitted to Aetna InteliHealth by consumers and answered by medical and dental professionals. The responses include information about the professionals' backgrounds, credentials and current positions.
- News articles are identified with a date at the top of the article and the name and/or logo of the news service at the beginning of the article.
- Information in our drug database comes from and is hosted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
- The source of material from other third parties is identified in the material.
Our website provides links to many other federal agencies and some private organizations that we feel may be of benefit to our site users. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. Harvard Medical School routinely reviews all of the sites to determine whether or not these sites, to the best of their knowledge, produce quality, accurate, and unbiased information. Our academic partners evaluate the appropriateness of links to other Web sites during the biennial review or more frequently as needed. These external links open in a different browser window.
The Aetna InteliHealth editors and the faculty of our academic content partners maintain absolute editorial independence. We make decisions about the information on our site free of outside influence. Our content partners have editorial control over the medical accuracy of the materials we create for our site.
We strive to update articles and tools developed by us and our primary academic partners at least every three years. The date of the most recent review or update is noted at the top or bottom of each article or tool.
Government agencies and non-profit organizations often mark material with the date it was created and keep that date as long as the material remains current. We check with these agencies and organizations that material dated over three years ago remains current. The original date remains on the material, but we add a line — "Current as of ..." — to indicate the last date we checked with the source that the material remains current.
See a list of the members of the faculty of Harvard Medical School who serve on its editorial board for our site, along with their credentials. Members of the editorial board review medical materials that Aetna InteliHealth writers and editors create for our site. We rely on Harvard Medical School to check the credentials of its editorial board. We update this list periodically as medical professionals move on and off of Harvard Medical School's editorial board. The date of the most recent update appears at the top of the list.
Aetna InteliHealth may hire experienced writers and editors to prepare material for review by the medical and dental professionals at our academic partner institutions. Additionally, we may hire experienced freelance writers and editors to assist our staff with this work. Aetna InteliHealth writers and editors have past experience with professional writing or editing of health content in addition to at least five years of professional publishing experience. See information about these writers and editors. The list is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears at the top of the list.
Read our corrections policy.
We have a conflicts of interest policy for our writers and editors that requires them to reveal to us potential conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest may be financial relationships, affiliations with groups or organizations, or personal actions. The goal of our policy is to provide consumers with health information on our site that is as free of bias as possible. We require our writers and editors to excuse themselves from working on material and projects for which potential conflicts exist, that is, where a writer or editor has a relationship that could potentially bias the person's work on a particular topic.
This editorial policy may be revised periodically. A date informing you when the policy was last reviewed and updated follows this section. When we make significant changes that affect our editorial policies and practices, we will post a notice on the Aetna InteliHealth home page for 30 days. We recommend that you read our editorial policy whenever you visit our site in case you missed our notice.
This policy was effective on November 1, 2000