A new website and "Triangle Mark" have been launched by the Centre for Health Information Quality (C-H-i-Q’s) to help raise standards for online and offline health information.
The new site Hi Quality, has been backed by Department of Health funding , and was developed as part of C-H-i-Q’s quality assurance programme, recently implemented across all the NHS digital TV pilot services.
Hi Quality has been developed in response to NHS Plan’s commitment to improve the quality of information for patients. It is based on C-H-i-Q’s three principles, that information should be accurate, clear and relevant.
For the public, Hi Quality offers a resource for checking the quality of health information, while for health professionals the programme offers guidance for attaining quality standards.
"The Hi Quality website has been designed to assist public and professionals in ensuring health information is accurate, clear and relevant," said Tom Hain, Manager of C-H-i-Q.
Hi Quality will also introduce a new kitemarking service designed to provide a trusted seal of health information quality to maximise public confidence in health information.
The new "Triangle Mark" will be awarded to health information resources that meet C-H-i-Q’s standards. The health information quality kitemarking service is being introduced in response to one of the key recommendations of the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry.
Judy Walker, co-director of the Help for Health Trust, C-H-i-Q’s parent organisation, told E-Health Media that C-H-i-Q would like to see the Triangle Mark develop into the official NHS standard of health information quality, for electronic and printed information.
"We think it does have the potential to be developed as the official standard and have written to the Secretary of State in that vein," said Walker.
She explained that C-H-i-Q both works with organisations to help assess the health information they provide to ensure it meets the Hi Quality standards or do independent appraisals of information to see whether they match the standards.
"Part of the work is to provide organisations with the knowledge and skills to do this themselves," she explained. Each trianglemark, the first of which has yet to be awarded, is likely to last a year initially.
Launched in 1997 with funding from the NHS, C-H-i-Q, specialises in training and kitemarking services. The Centre has successfully completed key work programmes for NHS Direct Online, NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence), and more recently the NHS Digital TV pilot services.