Practo is a neutral platform that aims to ensure a bias-free environment for doctors and patients alike. Therefore, giving and accepting patient stories on the platform is governed by a stringent set of rules that doctors and patients must adhere to, in order to ensure continued fairness on the platform. While we do many things to ensure that only genuine patient stories are published (you can read about these here), there are always some who try to take unfair advantage of the system. Fighting them is a continuous battle that we are committed to so that we can ensure a great healthcare experience for both, doctors and patients.
We see a number of cases where patients are impersonated for submission of patient stories , often by the clinic staff. As per the IT act section 66C and 66D, this is classified as online identity theft and carries severe penalties including imprisonment up to 3 years and fine up to 1 Lakh INR. Our systems are designed to prevent misuse of the profile and protect medical practitioners, and their establishments and staff from such outcomes.
To do this, we have two levels of verification in place:
Level 1: Authenticity verification at collection source
These are measures that continuously monitor the source of patient story collection to verify its authenticity and prevent publishing if detected otherwise. Some of these include device checks and account verification procedures.
Level 2: Post-acceptance authenticity verification systems
In the rare event that despite highly sophisticated measures in Level 1, a non-authentic patient story gets published, our Level 2 system continuously monitors and uses real-time patient stories from providers and patients to highlight such stories .
1. Every patient story provided by a patient is visible in the doctor’s dashboard. If a doctor feels that the patient story is not from a patient who visited him, then he/she can simply contest the patient story and Practo will reach out to the patient for additional proof of visit to the doctor. In such cases, the story is unpublished until the patient is able to provide a valid proof. If we see several incidents like these from the same patient, then he/she is banned from submitting any patient stories in future.
2. Similarly, we also notify the patient when his/her patient story gets published. If the patient contests this story we pull it down from the profile. If we see multiple such contestations for a particular provider, then the case is taken up on priority for deeper investigation.
a. Once this flag is raised, our authenticity detection engine gets into action and scans all the submitted patient stories to match with known patterns of non-authentic stories , including patterns of similarity in writing styles etc.
b. On completion of the scan, if the engine highlights unusual levels of an anomaly in the story then we unpublish all the patient stories on the profile and send it for re-verification.
c. The re-verification is done by intimating the patients to re-confirm whether or not they had provided the story.These steps ensure that only genuine patient stories makes it to the Practo platform and creates a fair system for all providers to collect and display only genuine ones their Practo Profile.
With these steps in place, we are able to ensure that our patient story system remains robust and trustworthy and continues to help millions of patients find great doctors on Practo.