You need to have confidence that you can trust the information you are receiving online. That is why we go to great lengths to ensure our website provides you with reliable, New Zealand-focused health information. Just take a look at our quality framework.
Health on the Net (HON)
The Health Navigator NZ website has a Health on the Net (HON) certificate. This provides an independent guarantee that this health website, at the date of its certification, complies with and pledges to honour the 8 principles of the HON Code of Conduct as drawn up by the HON Foundation.
Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP)
In 2017, the Health Navigator NZ website received an official endorsement from the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP). Endorsement from the college is further recognition of the national health information website’s value to GPs, primary care teams and ordinary Kiwis.
Dr Richard Medlicott, RNZCGP medical director, said the college asked an independent GP to undertake a comprehensive review of the Health Navigator NZ website, looking at the appropriateness and usefulness of its content, how new content is developed and its potential value to GPs and patients. The independent report was reviewed by a committee of 3 senior GPs, who provided a recommendation to the college board that the website be endorsed.
The quality of information on the internet varies a lot. One of the key goals of Health Navigator is to make it easier for you to find trustworthy and reliable health information.
We develop much of the website content ourselves, with experienced medical writers drawing on evidence-based research and New Zealand clinical guidelines to create easy-to-read versions of this information for health consumers. We write more complex content for clinicians.
As well as writing our own content, we link to existing resources from other reputable organisations.
Fundamental to ensuring that our content is relevant, up-to-date, accurate and evidence-based wherever possible, is our quality framework. This guides the editorial team in the selection of reliable and trustworthy websites and online resources, and ensures topics are reviewed internally and externally before publication.
To develop our framework, we conducted a literature review to identify the key quality standards and guidelines used by other organisations nationally and internationally. We reviewed these standards and from these developed our own quality framework. Websites that do not meet the minimum standards laid out in this framework are excluded from our research.
Where multiple resources or websites are identified for a particular topic, the assessment checklist we have developed is used by the editorial team and clinical writers to assist selection of the best ones.
Editorial process overview
Step 1: Initial content writing – our medical writers use evidence-based content from recommended websites, resources and clinical pathways to create original content.
Step 2: Assessment using the quality checklist – drafts are internally reviewed by another team writer against our quality criteria.
Step 3: Clinical review – drafts are clinically reviewed by external subject matter experts as a further check of accuracy, relevance and usefulness for New Zealanders and health providers.
Step 4: Editorial review – draft content is then reviewed by a Health Navigator editor to look for consistency of style, grammatical errors and health literacy.
Step 5: Publication and ongoing review – we review all content on a regular basis.
Health Navigator editorial team
Information on the Health Navigator website is produced and maintained by a team with expertise in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, psychology, laboratory technology, human physiology, writing, editing, communications and information technology development.
Additional support and expertise is provided by a range of topic experts and clinical advisors who assist with identifying the best resources for a New Zealand audience. Final approval of content is the responsibility of the editorial team.
Editor in chief
Dr Janine Bycroft is a medically qualified doctor who trained through Otago University, qualified in 1990 and has since done further training with:
- specialist qualifications in general practice (family medicine; FRNZCGP, 2005)
- post-graduate diplomas in obstetrics and gynaecology (women's health), and paediatrics (children; University of Auckland, 2004)
- Master's degree in public health (First class honours; University of Auckland, 2005).
Editorial manager & senior editor
Julie O’Brien (editorial manager) and Alana Hawke (senior editor) have both worked extensively as medical writers and editors – Julie in New Zealand and Alana in New Zealand and in London. They work part-time for Health Navigator and together lead a small but dedicated team of web content writers and editors with a range of relevant skills and experience.
In line with our desire to provide accurate and reliable health information that is independent of any commercial influence, no advertising is accepted for the Health Navigator NZ website.
We value your privacy
None of the tools used on this site capture any information that can identify you unless you provide your contact details in response to a request for them, eg, when you give feedback on the site. The questionnaires and calculators do not collect or record any personal data on our server as all calculations are done on your own computer.
Complaints & compliments – we take your ideas seriously
We're keen to keep improving and refining this website so we can make it the best place to go for all New Zealanders. If, however, you believe some content is inaccurate, distasteful or otherwise misleading, please advise us immediately. All complaints will receive a response from the clinical director within a month.
We would also love to receive your compliments! Please contact us with feedback or suggestions and we will do our best to respond within a few days.
Users can also provide anonymous or named feedback via the Hotjar feedback pop-up on all pages of the website. Feedback is regularly monitored and responded to when necessary.
We do not give personal health advice
All information on the Health Navigator NZ website is general and not specific to you. We cannot give personal health advice in any shape or form, either by phone or by email. To receive health advice, you need to visit your doctor/medical practitioner and other qualified health professionals who may be part of your wider healthcare team. Read more about where to get medical help.
Honey ML, Bycroft J, Tracey J, Boyd MA, McLachlan A. Quality processes that maximise the Health Navigator web portal as an enabler for consumers and health professionals Health Care and Informatics Review Online. 2010;14(1):1-6.