Tools for assuring quality and useful resources



DISCERN is a brief questionnaire that enables people to reliably assess the quality of written information on treatment choices for a health problem. DISCERN’s uses include:

  • enabling patients, and their family, friends and carers, to assess the quality of written information and increase their involvement in decisions about treatment by drawing their attention to issues to discuss with healthcare professionals
  • a screening tool for health information providers
  • a checklist for authors and producers of written consumer health information
  • a training tool for health professionals to improve communication and shared decision-making skills.

International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS)

IPDAS resources, criteria, checklists and the IPDASi instrument enable you to assess the quality of decision aids.

Health on the Net Foundation’s Health website evaluation tool

This tool helps you evaluate the quality, credibility, and transparency of a health website by guiding you through questions related to the HONcode principles and the EU Quality Criteria for Health-related Websites.

Search engines

NICE Evidence Search: Health and Social Care is a unique online index of authoritative, evidence-based information from hundreds of trustworthy and accredited sources. You can apply filters to search results to retrieve, for example, only accredited information or particular types of information such as patient information, systematic reviews and care pathways.

NICE pathways is an online tool that provides quick and easy access, topic by topic, to NICE resources, including quality standards, technology appraisals, clinical, public health and social care guidelines and NICE implementation tools.

The Cochrane Library is a collection of six databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making, and a seventh database that provides information about Cochrane groups.

Khresmoi for everyone is a search engine that provides access to a curated list of online health information. Health on the Net Foundation manages and supports the website.

Other helpful resources

From PIF


Readability tools

For example:

You can find out more about readability tools, including their limitations, on this PIF web page.


Editorial and links policies

For example:


Digital health strategies

For example:


Online forum and communities

For example:



For example:


Segmenting audiences

For example:

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