Healthcare // Patient Tools
12:40 PM
Paul Cerrato
Paul Cerrato
Connect Directly

Is That Healthcare Website Making You Sick?

Many healthcare websites provide valuable information that can help prepare you for the next doctor's visit. But some serve up misinformation that just might land you in the hospital. Here's how to tell the difference.
9 of 9

The Health on the Net Foundation outlines 8 attributes that a health-related website should include to be considered trustworthy. Sites that follow this "code of honor" can qualify for the foundation's seal of approval, indicated by the HONcode icon on certified sites.

To qualify, a website must be authoritative and maintain complementarity, which means the information should support and not replace the relationship you have with your doctor. The site should also provide attributions for the statements it posts. A page on the site puts it this way: "Where appropriate, information contained on this site will be supported by clear references to source data and, where possible, have specific HTML links to that data. The date when a clinical page was last modified will be clearly displayed..."

Other criteria to earn the HONcode icon: financial disclosures should be provided to identify any funding sources; advertising and editorial content should be separate and clearly marked. And perhaps the most important requirement is something the foundation calls justifiability: "Any claims relating to the benefits/performance of a specific treatment, commercial product, or service will be supported by appropriate, balanced evidence..."


Pick Up Your Smartphone: The Doctor's Calling

Walgreens' Facebook Site Adds Health Advice

7 Health Education Tools For Patients

11 Telemedicine Tools Transforming Healthcare

Social Gaming Helps The Medicine Go Down

9 Tech Innovations For Your Health

Elderly Patients Want Docs To Explain Technology

9 of 9
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of June 21, 2015.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.