U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Menu

Content Quality Guidelines

The goal of healthfinder.gov is to provide easy to understand health information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy. To achieve this goal, we apply quality guidelines when developing original content and selecting sources of health information.

We encourage you to refer to healthfinder.gov’s quality guidelines and ask your doctor for help when reviewing online health information.

Website Quality Checklist

healthfinder.gov will review and consider organizations and sponsored resources that meet the following required quality guidelines.

Required Quality Guidelines

Who created the site?

  • The names of the site developers, sponsors, partners, and funding sources are clearly noted.
  • The mission of the sponsoring organization supports the goal of healthfinder.gov.
  • The site offers a description of the organization, such as being a 501c3 non-profit association. If an organization does not disclose its status, it is prepared to provide this information if requested by the public.
  • The organization welcomes and responds to public questions and comments using e-mail and/or other method(s).

What is the purpose of the site?

  • The purpose of the site and its intended audiences is clearly stated. healthfinder.gov links to sites designed to educate consumers on how to prevent illness and stay healthy.
  • The site provides easy access to free information that meets the interests and needs of consumers. A membership is not required to access information.

Does the site accept advertisements?

healthfinder.gov may link to a resource sponsored by an organization that accepts advertisements on its site, as long as the actual resource is ad-free.

The following guidelines are applied to sites that do accept advertisements:

  • “Advertisement” labels clearly identify and separate ads from health information.
  • Agreeable ads support the mission and needs of the sponsoring organization(s) and its intended audiences, such as links to the organization’s publications and products or requests for sponsors and donations.
  • An advertising policy defines acceptable ads and prohibits advertisers and sponsors from collecting any personally identifiable information from healthfinder.gov visitors or developing and selecting health information for the site.
  • Site does not suggest or imply healthfinder.gov’s endorsement of its products or services. healthfinder.gov links to but does not endorse “locator” services that help you find health professionals, facilities, and services in your area.

Is health information reliable and current?

  • Health information on the site is developed and/or reviewed by respected advisors or consultants with expertise in related health fields.
  • The original source(s) of health information are available on the site and reflect accurate and current thinking of the scientific community.
  • The site adheres to quality standards, such as Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode) Exit Disclaimer, and offers reliable and credible information.
  • “Last updated” and/or “last reviewed” date stamps are posted on homepage, major entry points, and individual documents to show visitors that content is current and has been reviewed within the past 12 months.

How does the site collect and protect personal information?

  • If a site collects personal information using e-mail, forms, or surveys, it offers a privacy policy that explains how information collected from users remains private and confidential.

How is the site maintained?

  • The site is continually available to the public and offers e-mail links to contact website staff responsible for maintaining the site.
  • The site offers fresh and timely information.
  • Hyperlinks to information found both on and off the site are checked on a regular basis.
  • Content advisors, consultants, and/or a medical advisory board are available to review and answer questions about information offered on the site.

Recommended Quality Guidelines

healthfinder.gov recommends these additional guidelines when looking for quality health information.

Is the site easy to find and use?

  • The site is well organized, easy to navigate, and offers information that is easy to read and understand by intended audiences.
  • The design of the site considers technical requirements needed to reach a wide public audience, including individuals with disabilities.

Is the site evaluated for customer satisfaction and usability?

  • The organization discloses if it evaluates the site to learn about the health information needs of intended audiences and improve its usefulness for promoting and improving health.

Does the site offer disclaimers and a linking policy?

  • A disclaimer states that the organization does not provide medical advice, recommend health care products or services, or control the information found on external websites.

healthfinder.gov Checkup

View healthfinder.gov’s Quality Checkup to find out how we measure up to our own guidelines and where you can locate related information on our site.

E-mail questions about our Quality Guidelines to healthfinder@nhic.org.

Disclaimer — healthfinder.gov is an information and referral service only, and does not diagnose medical conditions, offer medical advice, or endorse specific products or services. Also, healthfinder.gov does not control the content of the Internet sites or organizations listed.