HIIQA Definitions and Abbreviations

Accreditation - see certification

Award - a statement about an Internet health information site made by an independent ratings organization that the site may display or mention to differentiate it from other sites. An award differs from a rating in that it consists of a single statement such as "Best Internet health information site of 1998," or bestowal of an award logo. An award may be given as the result of an award competition for which the Internet health information site must apply or may be unsolicited. See also award logo.

Award logo - a symbol displayed on an Internet health information site in lieu of or in addition to a statement that indicated that the site was singled out by an independent ratings organization.

Certification - an 'award' given to an Internet health information site that applies to a ratings organization to be recognized as having met the ratings organization's standards, eg, 'accreditation' of the site.

Code of conduct - guidance to assist webmasters to conform to accepted and/or acceptable practices (if the issuing organization does not rate the extent to which an Internet health information site meets the code's criteria). If the organization that develops the code of conduct assesses the extent to which an Internet health information site meets the code's criteria or standards, it is an accrediting or certifying organization.

Criterion - an item used to assess the quality of an award or rating to an Internet health information site in order to inform users of the site's utility. In this context rating includes rating systems. See also standard.

Evaluation tool - guidance to assist webmasters or consumers to evaluate the quality of an Internet health information site, and/or the health information it displays or contains.

Guideline - something that is to be preferred, but that does not have the force of a standard.

Health information - information intended to be used to maintain or improve health, including, to understand disease processes, health care issues, etc, to prevent, diagnose, or treat health problems, to be rehabilitated from the effect of diseases, or treatments, and to seek and select health care plans, providers, and other resources.

HII - Health Improvement Institute.

HIIQA - Health Improvement Institute Quality Award.

Health Improvement Institute Quality Award - the annual award granted by the Health Improvement Institute to an Internet health information site or rating system to indicate that it meets the Institute's criteria and standards for an excellent award or rating. Note: HII will only give its Quality Award to those Internet health information site awards and ratings that meet all of it standards of excellence.

Health Improvement Institute - non-profit, tax exempt, 501c3 organization dedicated to improving the quality and productivity of America's health care, The Institute's annual Aesculapius Award is designed to promote excellence in health communication (since1991) and its annual Quality Award is designed to promote excellence in Internet health information site ratings and awards and to inform the public of the quality of such ratings and awards (since 1998).

Internet health information site - Internet site, eg, WWW, bulletin board, that contains health information.

Internet site organization - the organization responsible for the Internet health information site.

Rated WWW site - the WWW (or other Internet) site on which a ratings organization displays awards to or ratings of Internet health information sites, and, by extension, any print publication related thereto.

Rating - a quantitative score (eg, 0-100) or qualitative scale-point eg, very poor to very good) used to grade Internet health information sites to permit consumers to differentiate among such sites. An independent ratings organization determines the score or scale-point and publishes and/or permits the rated site to publish it. A rating differs from an award in that it provides consumers with a numerical score or scale-point for each rated Internet health information site, rather than a statement about one or a few selected sites, See also rating systems.

Rating organization - an (independent) entity that grants awards to and/or rates Internet Health information sites.

Rating system - 2 or more (attribute) ratings related to the same Internet health information site determined by the same ratings organization at the same time. A rating systems differs from a rating in that it provides consumers with 2 or more scores or scale-points, each of which pertains to a discrete aspect of the Internet health information site, eg, reliability of information, user-friendliness of the site. See also rating.

Rationale - the reason for a criterion/standard, if not obvious.

Standard - the performance relating to a criterion that is expected of the ratings organization (eg, by HII assessors) in granting an award to or determining a rating of an Internet health information site. See also criterion.

Top-10 list - any delimited list of Internet health information sites, eg top 10 site, compiled by a ratings organization based on explicit or implicit criteria, for example, best (worst) sites.