FAQ for IVF Clinics

IHR Hosted Egg Donor Database - Home Page

Over the last few years, the majority of egg donation agencies have now posted their egg donor listings online. Although, more and more IVF clinics are now putting their donor listings online, many IVF clinics have concerns about doing this. Following are some typical questions and answers:

  1. Why should we display our donors online?
  2. What are the advantages of using the IHR donor database?
  3. What if we don't have that many donors to display?
  4. What about HIPAA requirements for anonymity and confidentiality?
  5. Which IVF clinics display their egg donors online?

1. "Why should we display our donors online?"

Over the last few years, more and more IVF clinics have begun displaying their donors online, for numerous reasons:

  1. Many prospective recipients first want to review online donors and only then make an appointment to meet with the IVF physician. These potential patients are more driven by their donor choice. Of course, this is different than the last few years, when first they were patients, and then they reviewed the IVF clinic's available donors.
     
  2. It provides an easier way for prospective recipients to search for a particular type of donor (e.g. over 5' 10"), rather than look through, for example, 40 donors in a hardcopy three-ring binder in an office.
     
  3. For busy people, this can be a very easy way to initially review lots of donors in one's home, at for example, 11pm when free time is available.
     
  4. Online donor listings will allow you to stay more competitive with other IVF clinics.
     
  5. You can reduce staff time spent in mailing donor packets. You can provide passwords to prospective recipients who can then download PDF files online.

2. "What are the advantages of using the IHR donor database?"

Using the IHR Donor Database offers many advantages, including:

  1. Increase recipient selection of your donors - Today, many prospective recipients want, and expect to find, a selection of online donors, rather than go into your office and look through your hardcopy profiles.
     
  2. Reduce your computer maintenance time - IHR maintains the database and does all the work for you. You don't have to hire a programmer to take care of the database.
     
  3. Reduce administrative time to photocopy and send out donor packets - Prospective recipients can use password access to download donor packets.
     
  4. Reduce your costs - Dramatically reduce your development costs to display your donors on the Internet. You would typically pay a programmer thousands of dollars for this type of feature-rich database.

3. "What if we don't have that many donors to display?"

When IVF clinics are concerned that they don't have many donors to display, this can mean one of the following:

"We don't want to have to pay the monthly charge for a small number of donors"

If you're concerned that it's not worth it to pay for a database when you only have a small number of donors (e.g., 10 donors), note that with the IHR Database you can:

  1. Provide a higher level of service. You can upload detailed donor information (e.g. a completed 20-page questionnaire in PDF format) in a password protected area in the IHR database. Potential recipients can increase their satisfaction by knowing they can easily download a donor's info any time they wish, and they don't need to keep calling your office to request additional hardcopy profiles.
     
  2. Save your staff considerable time.  Your staff will save time by not having to find the donor hardcopy portfolio, make copies, put the hardcopy info inside mailing envelopes, address the envelope, add postage, perhaps take the package to the post office, etc.
     
  3. Increase your professional look-and-feel.  Many patients today, expect to see donors in an online database format, rather than in hardcopy binders.
     
  4. Save money. The IHR Database is free if you have 1-99 donors and only use the tabular format only level of service.

"We don't want to show recipients that we only have a small number of donors"

If you're concerned about the appearance of a small number of donors online, you may want to consider the following:

  1. If your tabular format listings (not donor details) are shown to the public, you can say "Here is a sampling of our donors...."
     
  2. If your donor listings are only shown to current patients, then they will be using your donors whether you have 10 donors or 200 donors. They will see your number of donors eventually, whether it's hardcopy or online, so being online should not make any difference in this regard.

4. "What about HIPAA requirements for anonymity and confidentiality?"

If you operate an IVF clinic, it's crucial to adhere to HIPAA requirements for both anonymity and confidentiality. The IHR Hosted Egg Donor Database can help you.

Anonymity

Anonymity has been defined as "the state of being unknown," in which the personal identity or personally identifiable information of that person, is not known. You can maintain anonymity of your egg donors as follows:

  • Don't show any photos
  • Only show childhood photos
  • Don't display any unique information which would make the donor identifiable

Confidentiality

Confidentiality has been defined as "ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access." You can maintain confidentiality of your egg donors as follows:

  • Restrict access only to authorized users, via password
  • Only allow patients to view the donors, via password

Some IVF clinics have set up separate egg donor business units, from the medical clinic. Obviously this is an issue to discuss with legal counsel.

5. "Which IVF clinics display their egg donors online?"

Following is a small sampling of IVF clinics which display their egg donors online:

IVF Clinic State Comments
Advanced Fertility Care AZ
  • Password required to see database
Pacific Fertility Center CA
  • Separate egg donor website
  • Password required to see database
Reproductive Specialty Medical Center CA
  • Page contains photos, sectioned by race and hair color
RSC Bay Area CA
  • Users can search using donor criteria
  • Display is a tabular format of donors with basic information such as height, weight, eye color
  • No photos displayed in initial tabular display
  • Need password to access donor details
San Diego Fertility Center CA
  • Separate egg donor website
  • Must have password to see any donor information
  • Can search donor database using donor criteria
The Center for Fertility and Gynecology CA
  • Thumbnail adult photos of donors are displayed in tabular format online. No password needed.
  • Password required for access to donor details (including photos)
Northeast Assisted Fertility Group MA NY
  • Password required to see database
Genetics & IVF Institute VA
  • Separate egg donor website
  • Donor childhood (only) photos available
  • Extensive donor info (e.g. medical history) is available
  • No password needed for any of the above information

 

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