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Question to members about contributions from Professionals

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Administrator, Jun 28, 2011.

?

Do you think this is a good idea?

  1. Good idea

    14 vote(s)
    36.8%
  2. Bad idea

    19 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Not really bothered/Dont know

    5 vote(s)
    13.2%
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  1. Administrator

    Administrator Family member · Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Administrator

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    With an increasing number of HCPs, podiatrists, doctors, specialists and other professionals using the site, we were considering changing one of the forum rules to allow such professionals to use the site - and where normally they'd break the rules if they did offer advice, instead we would leave it as long as in the user's signature, there is a message saying:

    That way, members can have discussions with assumed professionals. The problem we see is that we have no way of checking (anyone can forge a certificate these days!), so would want it to be clear in the signature that there word shouldn't be taken for granted.

    What do forum members think? Please leave a comment or vote above!

    It'd be great if you could leave a reason for your vote (especially if you think it's a bad idea).
     
  2. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Hi Dan, I voted Not really bothered/Dont know not because I dont care far from it but as you rightly pointed out in your OP "anyone can forge a certificate" or download one for that matter.

    Also, are GP's etc actually allowed to post advice without access to a patients medical history? If they are offering general advice then I guess that would be OK but the danger is that we have already had one doctor posting that diabetics have to do this and must do that and no other way will work or words to that effect, and he is now slating this forum and the running of it on his blog, very professional, not!!

    So I guess it depends on the individual and how they convey their general advice, thoughts and theories.

    To have totally unbiased professionals on broad could be a real asset to the forum.

    Thanks for the opportunity to give our input and opinions, appreciated :D
     
  3. wiflib

    wiflib Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    I'm a Midwife and I AM NOT allowed to give personalised advice. I can offer opinions and provide evidence or similar.

    Every HCP has a PIN number. With this, it is easy to find out if the person is registered to practice.
    The Nursing and Midwifey Council (NMC) and the General Medical Council (GMC) are all accessible by Joe public. I don't know the names of other professional organisations for Dietitians, Podiatrists etc.

    wiflib
     
  4. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Whilst in theory it sounds a good idea I have my reservations about this. We have had so many 'snake oil' salesamen/women on here over the years who have handed out terrible advice to Diabetic's. If the forum aqdmin etc are not able to check out posts by such people and their credentials any advice that is given despie a disclaimer is fraught with danger.

    We have recently seen an alleged professional from another country offering advice to members which many have complained is bad advice, consume more salt, don't drink plenty of water, drink TCP (diluted) and many other weird and wonderful comments !

    Surely the admin etc has a duty to prevent such dross from appearing on the forum in the guise of professiional opinion from those who we know nothing about.

    Many of us over the years have been given terrible advice from real professIonals - do we really want some status given to unknown cyber posters ?

    The forum was originally designed to give advice to Diabetics from fellow Diabetics with practical experience of the disease, not as a helpline staffed by professionals ? Especially as you state there is no way of checking them out !

    Let people post as members but keep their status hidden. We all have different skills which we use to answer posts, however everybody is on the same level.

    If it does come to pass that this is allowed, then those self same professionals should be aware that they may meet with robust responses (within forum rules) as many of us don't have a great deal of respect for some professionals, wherever they are from !

    Just my own personal view. I think its a bad idea and voted that way.
     
  5. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Hard call

    Having a professional does provide valuable information more so if they can it translate it into laymen’s terms…

    But they are governed by ethic’s which could cause all sorts of problems for them, as the line between being seen to be prescribing or not is a very fine one indeed, and individuals will have a different interpretation on where this line is drawn…

    Another problem that would exist is the line that exists between expressing an opinion and promoting a singular ideology again its’ a fine line and more open to interpretation than the ethic’s one..

    I wouldn’t like to say that it was either a good or bad idea, or neither am I’m fussed
    As personally I feel that if a suitable policy/guidelines can be created to ensure that a very clear guidance that the forum considers that the line between providing information and that of promoting lays and how the forum perceives the ethical line of prescribing or not stands!

    Then it’s a good idea, if you can’t devise the necessary policy/guidelines then it’s a bad idea
     
  6. sparkles

    sparkles · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Hi Admin,

    1. I think you should move the questonaire from the top to the bottom of your post.

    (So people see the discussion or question before the answer questionaire. )


    2. I think people should come to the site first and foremost as people -not as Drs, Scientists, disabled, working mum, Giant, Troll etc etc… We all wear lots of hats in life and like these labels some fit one person and some another and some just don’t.. does it matter? Well sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I think it would be intereeting to know if someone was qualified in a certain area:

    But also just as I can get good info from a qualified person
    I can get equally good info from an unqualified person who is just a friend (sometimes).

    I’ve had good and bad information from both . (qualified people and unqualified people)

    I think It would be a better idea just to have an indication of someones backgound in the way of a colour symbol or range of symbols that people joining can click on. (which then show up on their posts) Eg… you could be a mum who is also a Dr (so blue for mum, green for dr shows on your post. ) ....or you could be a disabled dad who is a dietitian ( All things are possible!) - click on the appropriate colours which show on your posts.

    I don’t think it is good just to accept info blindly from a person who is a professional of any sort, (or even a non-professional ) in the real world or the virtual world.

    I don’t think professionals should be excluded from the site.

    But I don’t think they should rule it either. And non-professionals might benefit from a reminder that advice given is just given in good faith. I suppose I think then that professionals should be allowed to participate in debate here and to have the access to understanding their clients that this site could afford, But I think they (the professionals) then need to then take that info away with them and use it to instruct and direct and fight for change in the real world which is for the good of the diabetic community as a whole. Non-proffessionals could also benefit from seeing how professionals think and work. Both professional and non professional can work together if neither side dominates… for the good of the whole. Diabetes can be more understood and qualities of lives for individuals can be improved. In this case, the whole is to do with the condition of diabetes and the aims of this site are many, but a main one must be' understanding'. (even if to get there one has to go through total confusion!)

    To get to a point of understanding something so diverse as this one has to look at the parts and understand them before you can put it together… e.g. fix it. And sometimes in life, we have to accept we can never fix it perfectly. That doesn’t mean we cant try to fix it or that we shouldnt or that it wasnt worth the effort etc...etc.

    sparkles.
     
  7. sparkles

    sparkles · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    I didn’t vote…

    But can you find a way of making my vote count!!!!


    My answer was….

    Yes allow professionals access to the site.

    No don’t put that message in their signitures

    Yes.. Do give an indication of what hats individuals wear in life (see my earlier post.)
    Because to understand the angle someone is coming from in a discussion adds clarity.

    But also set the appropriate rules and guidance.

    (work them out carefully first! I‘ll leave that to you!!!)
     
  8. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Sounds like an invitation for controversy.








    I LOVE the idea! :twisted:

    I'm all for DISPROVING theories - but not so much for DISMISSING them without proper disussion and investigation.

    Lets take the most recent discussion - 600cal Cure. I'd love to have a professionals opinion on this. Someone that we can ask pointed questions at, and not get a cut n' paste response from.

    I really like this idea, too. Don't know if it can be done - but I hope so.
     
  9. Administrator

    Administrator Family member · Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Don't know how to put the questionnaire at the bottom! I don't think it's possible - I will try to see if I can put it at the bottom.

    Health Professionals are by no way excluded - we have some great members who are professionals! I suppose what we're trying to do is not have professionals offering advice, as such - but when they give their opinion, it'd be helpful to know if they have experience which they're using. It's of interest, adds context and is useful background information, really. Plus - it gives users the chance to debate and discuss issues with professionals.

    Problem is though, how to weed out the snakes. Our idea is that if something about the user's background (if they claim to be a professional) is in their signature, you just know where they're coming from - and can choose to accept, ignore or hopefully - discuss/debate it.
     
  10. anna29

    anna29 Type 2 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Hiya, with my qualifications and certificates I am given my own candidate number and ID award number , and its on my certificates of governing / central body CPCAB . These can n could be faxed through? giving you the option to check out the genuine ones. thus covering yourselves from forgeries etc, the personal candidate number is given to candidates at the very start of course/degree etc n you maintain this number throughout all training assignments exams n finals. You can trace using the candidate ID number to the relevant colleges / universitys the candidate attended n tutors / lecturers / professors can n could verify genuineity. Anna.x :)
     
  11. ally5555

    ally5555 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Hi - Dietitians and other allied health professions are regulated in the same way as doctors , nurses etc by the Health Professions Council. We are bound by a code of ethics and cannot give individual advice to anyone without a face to face contact.
    I think that actually identifying yourself by name etc is probably asking for trouble - I know this from experience as I am being personally harassed . However the former mods know who I am .
    People have asked me why I started posting - it was mainly because I was enraged at the wrath against HCP. I may not be a diabetic but have 20 years of experience as a Dietitian and with real people.
    It is good to exchange experience as a diabetic but the debate has to be sensible and not personal. The problem for HCP if you do agree with someone then it appears to provoke an argument.
    Also HCP may pop in and out of the forum so it may be difficult to keep up with what is being posted and you may miss something of relevance!

    Ally
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    I think it's a good idea; whether they would want to is another matter.

    How could a bit of informed input hurt?

    Best

    Dillinger
     
  13. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    If you looking for ideas about hows etc..

    Using our little profiles to the right of the post..

    Here it could be put what type of diabetic we are, whether we are a parent, carer or professional interest!

    It would be more also allow all posters know to who/what type of diabetic they are answering as this isn't always apparent!
     
  14. ally5555

    ally5555 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Dill

    HCP have to be extremely careful what they post - we need access to medical records or if seeing a client privately contact with their doctor . This is in order to give exact dietary information etc .

    This is frustrating but it is written into the code of conduct! I am not allowed to promote individual products either so if I suggested a brand name - I have to suggest an alternate. Also I am not allowed to sell supplements of any kind !

    To be honest I think HCP could have difficulties posting under their real identity.
     
  15. slimtony

    slimtony · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    I voted good idea. If HCP identify themselves, then they'll be much easier to rout from the forum. :D
     
  16. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Absolutely awful idea Admin and quite surprised it's actually being asked! Unless the credentials of these 'Professional' can be thoroughly checked and they can be made accountable for any advice handed out then its without question a bad idea.

    Why court trouble and possible lawsuits?......leave the rules as they are I say!

    Nigel
     
  17. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Disclaimers are necessary for some professionals on this site IMHO, especially when their own websites and blogs have this feature.

    I have no objection to professionals advising members but when things are promoted there is a difference. I then question their motives and ask myself if they have a vested interest or is it for personal prestige.

    How can a professional dismiss ethics and morals and give a solution without a one to one consultation, no medical notes and no liaison with the HCP's already involved in that members' care?

    A lot of members here have either had good or bad experiences with HCP's and I would advise caution with any faceless advice as safety of members should come first in my book.

    The cornerstone of the medical profession is, "Do no harm" and I do not consider an internet forum as a place where this can be carried out especially if an intransigent/biased/ opressive/inflexible solution is put forward.

    I welcome unbiased advice from any member, professional or not, as it makes the forum a more effective resource.

    Gone are the days when you were expected to touch your forelock in the presence of professionals as they now have to earn respect like the rest of us.

    A professional member who is promoting a management strategy for Type 2 diabetes has said that Type2's have a choice, his way or accept that you will need medicines. I find this odd as some members are already using the method he promotes and yet they use medicines and/or insulin and some people using other methods are medicine free. This to me is not advice and also could create fear amongst members who have not decided the best way forward for them.

    I am a professional but only give general advice about my chosen field. It would be unprofessional of me to do anything different. Perhaps codes of conduct vary from country to country?
     
  18. Administrator

    Administrator Family member · Well-Known Member
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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    We don't want to confuse this with consultations/advice, etc - it's more just a way of people having an idea of 'where' the poster is coming from.

    i.e. Rather than saying 'I'm a XXX - ABC is a good method because...' and then being edited due to it not abiding to forum policy, we could allow them to say 'I'm a XXX - ABC is a good method because...' and fellow members know that this is information from a unverified professional and so have content about the member.

    @ally555 - we wouldn't ask for real names/titles. Just that if you're a HCP, it'd say it in your signature.
     
  19. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    It's a good idea. The more opinions, the better. Their contribution won't be more valid than any of us non-HCP's, but their contribution WILL be appreciated.

    The more points of view th ebetter!
     
  20. frenchkittie

    frenchkittie · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Question to members about contributions from Professiona

    Tricky one.

    Just some random thoughts, but how would you verify that they actually were real HCPs?

    If you (admin) chose to verify their status, you would need access to their real names (even if they weren't for general publication on the forum). Even then, it's very easy on the internet to pretend to be someone you're not. I could quite easily claim to be, oh, I don't know... Florence Nightingale for example. I could publish "my" photo, post a link to "my" website, tell you "my" qualifications.

    But, if you don't verify the authenticity of posters claiming to be HCPs, would you then be lending extra weight and credibility to anything that they might post?

    And then what about, as catherine mentions, HCPs from other countries, are they bound by the same code of ethics as members of GMC etc on things like personal beliefs and conflicts of interest?

    Like I said, tricky.
     
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