The word honcode (health on the net code) refers to a series of guide-lines proposed by the foundation Health On the Net for websites which deal with health and medicine. These guide-lines aim at guaranteeing the user of such sites a certain level of reliability and impartiality regarding the published material. Another goal is to guarantee ht the availability on line of this information does not interfere with the normal function of public health (for example, that such information is not used by the non-medical user for self diagnosis or self treatment). In regards to these guidelines, the Organization Health on the Net provides certification for the sites which decide to adhere to this service.
All medical information which is provided and hosted on the site will be written only by experts in the field of medicine and by qualified professionals, unless an explicit statement declares that the information comes from a non-medical source.
The information provided on the site tries to encourage, and not substitute, the existing patient/doctor relationship.
Personal data regarding patients or visitors to the site, including identity, is confidential, The person responsible for the site is committed to respect the legal conditions of confidentiality regarding the medical information, according to the laws of the country of the server and the mirror sites. The source of published information must be accompanied by explicit references, and when possible, by links for these data. The date of the most recent update must be clearly written on the page (eg. at the bottom of each page).
Every statement regarding benefits or improvement induced by a treatment, product, or commercial service, will be supported by adequate proof and weighed in light of principle 4.
The creators of the site will make every effort to provide information in the clearest possible terms and to provide an address for further information. This e-mail address must be clearly visible on the site page.
The sponsorship of the site must be clearly identified, including the name of the commercial or non-commercial organizations which contribute to the funding, the provision of services o the material of the site.
If advertising is a source of funding of the site, this must be clearly indicated. Those responsible for the site will provide a brief description of the advertising policy adopted. All promotional or advertising material will be presented to the user in such a way as to clearly differentiate it from the original material provided by the institution which manages the site.
last update: May 25, 2011