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About our content

The healthdirect team delivers comprehensive content that is clinically safe, appropriate, current and accessible, easy to understand and digest, engaging, and visually appealing.

Healthdirect Australia’s Clinical Governance Framework offers assurance that our health services, whether provided directly by us or contracted service providers, are both safe and of a high quality.

While it is reviewed for clinical accuracy, the content on healthdirect is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional healthcare. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult your doctor or a specialist.

Read more about our Clinical Governance Framework on the Healthdirect Australia website.

Content quality

healthdirect editorial oversight occurs at two levels:

  1. Strategic development of new services and features is managed by the Healthdirect Australia Digital Services team to ensure usability and overall quality of the website and its content.
  2. Content development is overseen by the Clinical Governance team to ensure all health and clinical related content is safe, appropriate and current.

Content sources

The following are the ways we collect and create trusted health information for you to access on healthdirect:

Links to partner websites

A large proportion of healthdirect's content is comprised of links to quality information on partner websites. These adhere to our publishing standards and provided through information partnerships established between Healthdirect Australia and selected organisations.

All information partner websites are subject to a comprehensive, clinical quality assessment to ensure we only provide links to reliable and safe health information. Each organisation and their content development processes are evaluated against the HONCode principles, including criteria such as authoritativeness and qualifications, purpose and usability, privacy, referencing, review frequency and dating, transparency and disclosure, and accessibility.

healthdirect local content

In addition to providing links to quality information on partner websites, our in-house team of health professionals, journalists and content producers create and publish our own locally-developed content. This content is reviewed for clinical accuracy every 1-4 years, depending on subject matter, and 'Last reviewed' dates are clearly stated on individual pages.

Content development process

Healthdirect Australia’s content development process includes the following phases:

  1. Content planning and creation – gap analysis and evidence based planning sessions take place regularly to inform content briefs; content is commissioned by accredited health writers, licensed from clinically approved sources or written in-house by Healthdirect Australia staff.
  2. Clinical and editorial reviews – clinical content is fact checked and peer reviewed by the appropriate health professionals; all information is editorially reviewed and sub-edited in line with Healthdirect Australia’s editorial guidelines.
  3. Classification and publishing – content is classified to ensure accurate clinical categorisation and metadata is optimised for search; publishing reviews are conducted prior to live release.
  4. Audit and evaluation – content is audited by Healthdirect Australia’s Editor in Chief and Clinical Governance team, ensuring a user centric approach and continuous process and content improvements.

Content contributors

A number of health writers, journalists and researchers contribute to Healthdirect Australia's content development process, including:

  • Broken Yellow
  • Deb Hirst – Bachelor of Nursing, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
  • Dr Mark Ragg, on behalf of Ragg & Co – MBBS BA
  • EIDO Healthcare Australia
  • Elsevier Australia
  • GuildLink
  • Jane Carstens – B App Sc (nursing) B Bus Com (Journalism)
  • Karyn Weitzner – PhD Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (Hons), Grad Cert Journalism

Licenced content

Healthdirect Australia have content licencing agreements with selected organisations that comply with our Clinical Governance Framework, including:

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker content has been constructed by our clinical team, according to HONCode principles, drawing on content licensed from NHS Direct, Australian clinical guidelines and advice from expert clinical panels. Watch the video below explaining the process and inception of the healthdirect Symptom Checker.

Go to the healthdirect Symptom Checker >>

Read the related video transcript >>


The healthdirect team adheres to an editorial style guide for all information we publish, including the website, press releases, social media and other communication channels. This provides guidelines for all of the locally sourced and created content, such as news articles, editorial features and topic pages, to ensure it meets not only our clinical and quality standards but is consistent, easy to understand, user friendly and accessible.


All references cited are linked to the home page of the source website and provide a title to further identify the source.

Conflict of interest

Any conflict of interest is managed according to Healthdirect Australia policy and if a situation does arise where a potential conflict of interest exists, the conflict will be fully explored and disclosed.

Advertising policy

Healthdirect Australia's websites do not receive funding from advertising products or services of other organisations. We don’t promote the interests of any person or organisation who may financially benefit as a result of information placed on the website.

Healthdirect Australia ensures that the company makes information available on its websites with the primary objective of providing a helpful service to users of that information.

External standards

Healthdirect Australia complies with relevant external standards for websites, including:

Last reviewed: October 2018

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