Over half (58%) of healthcare professionals have difficulty sourcing reliable health information to share with patients according to a 2022 survey conducted by the Patient Information Forum (PIF)

Even healthcare professionals struggle to source reliable health information, according to a new PIF survey. In response, the Patient Information Forum has launched a new toolkit to help healthcare professionals overcome these struggles and give trusted information to their patients.

What is the PIF TICK toolkit?

The new PIF TICK toolkit has been produced to help professionals overcome the difficulties of misinformation. Endorsed by GPs, the toolkit includes:

Patient resources on spotting false health information, BMI, and clinical evidence, including easy-to-use factsheets.

More than 85 independently assessed trusted information creators, sorted by therapy area.

The toolkit will help healthcare professionals confidently signpost trustworthy information. Every organisation within the directory has undergone a tough, independent assessment of their healthcare information production process.

What is the PIF TICK and why is it important?

PIF is a non-profit UK membership organisation working to improve the quality of health information; representing members across NHS, charitable and private sectors.

The PIF TICK accreditation is an excellent way for people to know that health information is dependable and accurate. It is the UK’s only independently-assessed quality mark for print and online health information.

Dr Michael Hughes, consultant rheumatologist, said, “All patients need access to reliable, high-quality, and readable information from their initial diagnosis and throughout the course of their disease. The PIF TICK is a trusted reassurance that clinicians are signposting patients to high-quality and assured information.”

With so much online information available, knowing where to go and who to trust can be tricky. The spread of misinformation can easily escalate with the mix of opinions on social media so it is really important to get health information from reliable sources. While our healthcare system is so stretched, accessing up-to-date and accurate information can better health outcomes and entrust people to make informed decisions about their wellbeing.

Dr Juhi Tandon, GP and co-founder of Cognitant Group, said, “As doctors, we want to encourage our patients to play a more participatory role in their health and empower them with the tools needed to better self-manage their care. This starts with trusted health information.

“In our short consultation time, we struggle to adequately explain health, disease and treatment, so the ability to use the PIF TICK to signpost patients to reliable, accurate and up-to-date, evidence-based health information from trusted sources, is incredibly valuable. It can really augment shared decision-making and informed choice.”

The Counselling Directory and PIF TICK

At Happiful, we’ve put the process to practice, with our website Counselling Directory receiving PIF TIK accreditation early this year and becoming a ‘trusted information creator’.

Ellen Lees, Head of Content at Happiful, said “We’re thrilled to announce that Counselling Directory has received the PIF TICK certification. Gaining the PIF TICK shows we have a strong process for developing our health information resources, and that we truly care about the quality of the information we publish.”

The Counselling Directory team had to show that their health information meets ten key criteria. Having the PIF TICK accreditation means that people visiting the Counselling Directory can be assured that the information is evidence-based, comprehensible, and of high quality.

For more information, visit the Counselling Directory or speak to a qualified counsellor.

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