You need to have confidence that you can trust the information you are receiving online. This is why we go to great lengths to ensure our website provides you with the reliable, New Zealand-focused health information you are seeking. Just take a look at our quality framework.
The quality of information on the internet is highly variable. One of the key goals of this website is to make it easier for you to find trustworthy and reliable health information. As well as writing our own content, we link to existing resources from other reputable organisations.
Fundamental to this is the development of a quality framework to guide the selection of reliable and trustworthy websites and online resources. The framework guides the editorial team with resource selection.
The basis of this framework is a brief literature review conducted to identify the key quality standards and guidelines developed both nationally and internationally. Standards were identified, reviewed and selected. Websites that do not meet the minimum standards are excluded and where multiple resources/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.
A paper outlining our quality framework was published by Health Informatics Review, 2009.
- Quality Processes That Maximise The Health Navigator Web Portal As An Enabler For Consumers And Health Professionals. Health Care & Informatics Review Online, March 2009 Link Honey, ML. Bycroft, J. Tracey, J. Boyd, MA. McLachlan, A.
Other web standards & guidelines
Editorial process overview
Step 1: Initial processing – recommended websites, resources or drafted topics are forwarded to the allocated writer. These can come from approved content providers, recommended by colleagues or written specially for Health Navigator by subject experts or our editorial team.
Step 2: Assessment using the quality checklist – these are then assessed against our quality criteria and permission to use or link requested when necessary.
Step 3: Editorial review – content is then reviewed by one of the editors to improve consistency, style and health literacy.
Step 4: Clinical review occurs either at the source prior to submission for acceptance (such as regional or national clinical networks, professional bodies or approved clinical providers) or by our clinical team for content written internally or by subject expert writers. We are also shifting to having this second group of content peer reviewed as a further check of accuracy, relevance and usefulness for New Zealanders and health providers.
The following standards and issues were identified as essential for any resource or website to be included:
1. Responsible partnering – trustworthy individual or organisation.
2. Content accurate and reliable.
3. Balanced & unbiased.
4. Evidence-based or supports current best practice when guidelines don’t exist.
5. Content – appropriate and relevant for the intended audience.
6. Current – considered up to date, preferably reviewed or updated within last 2 years.
7. Responsible advertising – no drug advertising and minimal commercial/product advertising.
8. Independent of drug companies (resources developed by independent group may be sponsored by unrestricted drug grant).
1. Quality of information and content – adheres to HON or equivalent quality framework, evidence levels.
2. Design & aesthetics – layout, visual appeal, loads quickly, text size options etc.
3. Readability – reading and comprehension level appropriate
4. Authority, authentication and currency – authorship, ownership and credibility clearly stated and appropriate (eg, professional, govt, or NGO) contact details, editorial process, disclosure, advertising distinct from content.
5. Cultural competence – concepts and examples culturally appropriate? Language options?
6. Navigation (particularly for website links) – user friendly, search option, large file warning, loading speed, features for special needs etc.
7. Accessibility and availability.
8. Collaborative care and self-management focus – motivational, supportive or enabling, informed choice, shared decisions, goal-setting etc.
In line with our desire to provide accurate and reliable health information and independent of any commercial influence, no advertising is accepted for the Health Navigator NZ website.
Health Navigator editorial team
Information on the Health Navigator website is produced and maintained by a team with expertise in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, writing, editing, communications and technical 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 NZ audience.
Final approval of content is the responsibility of the editorial team.
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).
Web editor & web advisor
Alana Hawke and Susie Hill both have degrees in human physiology and have worked extensively as medical writers and editors – Susie 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, editors and managers with a range of relevant skills and experience.
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.
We do not give personal health advice
All information on the Health Navigator NZ website is general and not specific for 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.
DISCLAIMER: Health Navigator NZ is intended to provide general advice only. If you have any medical concerns, you should see your doctor. Health Navigator NZ information has been selected from a variety of consumer health resources and countries, therefore it is likely there will be some variations. All medical information needs to be carefully reviewed with your healthcare provider.