Web Guidelines FAQ
- Outside vendors wanting to publish ads on JHM Web sites
The physicians in the clinical center I administer frequently prescribe medications made by three companies. One of the companies would like to post an ad on the Web site maintained by our center. Is this allowed?
In keeping with Johns Hopkins Medicine policy that neither faculty, staff nor the institution can participate in activity that constitutes or implies endorsement of a commercial product, your Hopkins site may not accept or post company ads.
- Educational videos produced by medical supply vendors promoting procedures and products posted on Hopkins Web sites
We recently purchased a device for a novel procedure our clinic has started offering. The vendor has created an educational video for a patient that explains the procedure. We believe the video contains accurate information and is well produced. The product name is featured and the manufacturer's name is mentioned at the end of the clip. The procedure is not done at the first office visit. At that visit, the physician explains the procedure as well as its risks and benefits-to the patient. Then the patient must decide whether to have the procedure and make another appointment. We would like to make the video available to patients considering this intervention because we think it will aid their understanding of the procedure. May we post the video on our Web site?
Posting the company's video on a Hopkins Web site, although partly informational, also promotes the device and its manufacturer. A company-produced video detailing the procedure should not be posted because in part it is promotional, but also because it could be misleading; the procedure may not be appropriate for all patients. If you believe the video is valuable for patients for whom the procedure is recommended by a physician in the clinic and there is no other source for this information, you may provide it to those patients considering or preparing for the procedure. You should ask the company if you can distribute it on a disk or memory stick so you can give it to those patients.
- Disclaimers when linking to outside Web sites
As a service to patients, our division's Web site includes links to various patient advocacy organizations. We have no control over those organizations' sites and cannot monitor them regularly. What if those sites contain errors or are not up to date?
Any Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site, whether maintained by a department, division, program, center or other organizational unit, must post the following disclaimer when linking to outside Web sites: "You are being redirected to a Web site outside of Johns Hopkins for information purposes only. Johns Hopkins is not responsible for any aspect of the external Web site."
- Promoting a private practice as a Hopkins activity on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site
I am a part-time faculty member. I see patients in a Hopkins clinic one day a week and I teach residents. I also maintain a private practice. The department's Web site lists me as a part-time faculty member. Can they add a description of my private practice?
There should be a clear separation between your work at Hopkins and your private practice, and a Hopkins site may not promote a personal clinical business. So the department's site may not include a description of or a link to your private practice.
I noticed that Web sites and a national magazine have used content quoting Johns Hopkins experts in special sections paid for by advertisers. Do our policies permit that?
Johns Hopkins provides tailored content to Yahoo Health and (in the past) Time magazine. In the former case, Johns Hopkins is paid for the content. In the latter, no money changed hands. In both cases, we required that advertising be unrelated to the Hopkins content and that there be prominent disclaimers noting that Hopkins does not endorse or support any product or service that is advertised on the Website or in the publication.
U.S.News & World Report magazine has on its Web site commentaries and advice from Johns Hopkins physicians on pages where there is product advertising. Isn't this prohibited by the guidelines?
No. Johns Hopkins has agreed to provide some consumer health content to the magazine with the understanding that adjacent advertising will be entirely unrelated to any of the subject matter from Hopkins experts and will also exclude drug or medical device advertising. In addition, the magazine may not present the content in a way that suggests an endorsement of the magazine or products advertised in it by Johns Hopkins. The experts quoted by the magazine come from a variety of medical centers and not just Johns Hopkins, and Hopkins content is entirely vetted by Johns Hopkins faculty.
I am a faculty member and I participate in online social media on my own time. Occasionally, I post blogs on health care sites. May I state that I am on the Johns Hopkins faculty? Johns Hopkins faculty or staff may post blogs or participate in social media outside Johns Hopkins. In doing so, however, any use of their Johns Hopkins title and affiliation must be accompanied by a disclaimer, as follows: "Dr./Mr./Ms. [Name]'s post on this site is made in a personal capacity and is independent of his/her affiliation with Johns Hopkins [University/Health System]."
- See Social Media Standards and Guidelines