HIIQA FAQs

What is the Health Improvement Institute Quality Award (HIIQA)?
Health Improve-ment Institute (the Institute) gives its HIIQA to awards to and ratings of Internet health information sites that meet HIIQA criteria and standards.

What is HIIQA's purpose?
The HIIQA is designed to encourage awards and ratings organizations to improve the quality of their processes, thereby improving the quality of health information on the Internet.

How is the HIIQA useful to consumers?
Increasingly consumers are turning to the Internet to find health information and to awards to and ratings of Internet sites to guide their search. But, many of these so-called trustmarks cannot be trusted. To address this issue, Health Improvement Institute created the Health Improvement Institute Quality Award (HIIQA). By access-ing the Institute's web site, consumers can identify awards and ratings of Internet health information sites that meet HIIQA's stan-dards. They can then link to HIIQA-winning awards and ratings, and, from these sites, to highly-rated Internet health information sites.

Is there a fee for the HIIQA?
No. It is not an awards competition. There is no fee to receive the HIIQA.

Can an award or rating organization apply for the HIIQA?
Yes. But, self-identification is only a small part of the way that the Insti-tute identifies awards and ratings.

How does the Institute identify awards and ratings to assess?
The Institute systemati-cally searches the WWW to find, and asks experts to identify, all awards and ratings meeting HIIQA criteria.

What is the HIIQA assessment process?
HIIQA provides a set of criteria and stan-dards for assessing awards to and ratings of Internet health information sites. After the Institute has determined that an award or rating meets HIIQA scope criteria, a panel of volunteers assess if the award or rating meets all applicable HIIQA standards. If an award or rating meets all applicable HIIQA standards it receives the HIIQA.

What do the HIIQA assessment standards encompass?
There are detailed standards that address each of the following aspects of an award or rating: Award/ratings organi-zation; Content/display of award/ratings; Fees (no inducements for award/rating); Award/rating process; Ratings systems (attribute, overall rating); Feedback, quality assurance.

Can people comment on HIIQA?
Yes. The Institute encourages everyone to comment on the way in which the Institute assesses awards and ratings and displays resultant assessments on its web site, and on the utility of the HIIQA in assisting awards and rating organizations to improve the quality of their processes and consumers to identify reliable health information on the Internet.

What's so new about HIIQA?
As far as we know, this is the first time that standards have been established for rating the raters of any consumer-oriented guides, including, for example, those pertaining to investments, movies, restaurants, and other services of interest to the general public.