Is Your Healthcare Site HONcode certified?
How many healthcare websites are there on the internet? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? There’s definitely no shortage of health information available to the average person, but how do readers know if the information they see on the net is trustworthy? And how do you go about distinguishing your website from the sites that are serving up dodgy advice?
One way you can show your customers that you care about quality information is by using an HONcode seal. HONcode – the Health on the Net Foundation code of conduct – is a credibility tool for health and medical websites. Sites with an HONcode seal have been assessed in relation to eight different areas, including transparency and reliability. An HONcode seal tells your readers that they can trust the quality of health information you’re publishing on your site.
The Health on the Net Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that’s affiliated with the United Nations. It’s been around for 20 years, so it’s very well-established.
To apply for an HONcode, go to https://www.hon.ch/web.html. The process is simple – just fill out an application form, wait for assessment, and once you’ve got the tick of approval you can display the HONcode seal on your site. Certification is free for the first year.
To see the HONcode in action, check out the Red Nose site (a not-for-profit organization in Australia that funds research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) – the HONcode seal is at the bottom of the home page.
(Image credit: Zhen Hu via Unsplash)