FAQ for IVF Clinics
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:
- Why should we display our donors online?
- What are the advantages of using the IHR donor database?
- What if we don't have that many donors to display?
- What about HIPAA requirements for anonymity and confidentiality?
- Which IVF clinics display their egg donors online?
Over the last few years, more and more IVF clinics have begun displaying their donors online, for numerous reasons:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Online donor listings will allow you to stay more competitive with
other IVF clinics.
- You can reduce staff time spent in mailing donor packets. You can provide passwords to prospective recipients who can then download PDF files online.
Using the IHR Donor Database offers many advantages, including:
- 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.
- 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.
- Reduce administrative time to photocopy and send out donor
packets - Prospective recipients can use password access to download donor
- 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:
- 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.
- Save your staff considerable time. Your staff
will save time by not having to find the donor hardcopy portfolio, make copies, put
hardcopy info inside mailing envelopes, address the envelope, add postage,
perhaps take the package to the post office, etc.
- Increase your professional look-and-feel. Many
patients today, expect to see donors in an online database format, rather than
in hardcopy binders.
- 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:
- If your tabular format listings (not donor details) are shown to the
public, you can say "Here is a sampling of our donors...."
- 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.
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 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 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.
Following is a small sampling of IVF clinics which display their egg donors online:
|Advanced Fertility Care||AZ||
|Pacific Fertility Center||CA||
|Reproductive Specialty Medical Center||CA||
|RSC Bay Area||CA||
|San Diego Fertility Center||CA||
|The Center for Fertility and Gynecology||CA||
|Northeast Assisted Fertility Group||MA NY||
|Genetics & IVF Institute||VA||