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Help - FAQs

How do I access Health Well?

You can access Health Well in two ways:

  • Use a link on your desktop to Health Well, which can be installed using the Health Well installer
  • Go to


What is an installer?

What is interoperability?

Interoperability is the ability of one system to work with other systems, without the user having to do extra work. For example, searching from a single website the information contained on a number of different websites requires those websites to be interoperable.

Interoperability is based on shared metadata standards. Once a resource has standardised metadata attached to it in one system, it can be made available to all other systems that are interoperable with it and which apply the same metadata standards.

What is metadata?

Simply put, metadata is information about information. It is the term used to describe the structured set of details attached to an information resource in order to facilitate storage, access and usage. Examples include a resource’s title, creator or subject.

What is the metadata cache?

A metadata cache is where details of all the different types of information resources are included. Each contributing site provides a range of information resources related to health and wellbeing taken from what is often called the “grey literature”. The resources on Health Well are assigned to Catalogues and topic-specific Collections to help you access them quickly and easily.


The Public Health Language/SNOMED (PHL/SNOMED) provides a common, controlled set of terms to ensure consistency in public health data and activities. It was developed out of the need to devise a single, shared public health language suitable for indexing and retrieving public health information resources.

It is the output of a collaborative project between the former Health Development Agency (HDA), whose work is continued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO). The system consists of ten main headings, with narrower related terms under each heading.

How do I register as a user on Health Well?

Registering will enable you to avail of the applications on Health Well that are restricted to registered users. When you register, you can:

  • Manage your searches and save your results
  • Save your selected resources
  • Build a reading list of materials and compile a reference list
  • Monitor your webgroups
  • Manage your profile

What is an information resource?

An information resource can be any item that can be shared and that is relevant to public health and wellbeing. It can be:

  • A policy or strategy document
  • Data (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Research reports
  • Details of interventions
  • Contacts and websites

Health Well does not store a large amount information resources. Rather, it stores details about these resources along with facilities to allow you to search and browse them. If you need to retrieve any information resources you find on Health Well, you will be redirected to the website where you can download it.  

What is an RSS, and how do I subscribe to Health Well’s RSS?

An RSS allows you to be automatically updated (through your email account) about new content on a website like Health Well. You can subscribe to Health Well’s RSS feed to be kept up to date about new information resources as they are added.

How do I suggest a resource to Health Well?

If you have a resource you think should be added to Health Well, you can send it to us. To submit a resource, you need to provide information about it – title, creator, subject etc. For further information please click here.

Updated: January 2011

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