There are occasions when you look for a doctor and don’t know where to go. Maybe you need a specialist, maybe you want to get a second opinion, but maybe you are also looking for the right hospital for the treatment you need, or you are looking for a suitable nursing service or a nursing home for relatives.
The first reaction is usually to pick up the phone. You ask around at relatives and friends, ask them for tips and in the end you are usually just as perplexed as before. One praises a certain doctor about the green clover, the other horrified advises against the same doctor. Experiences and tastes are just subjective.
Good advice is free
I tested the new online portal Weisse Liste for the digital Best Ager magazine Lebenlang (the new eMAG from Theresa Neubauer and Antonia Sutter – the makers of sisterMAG). The “White List” belongs to the Bertelsmann Foundation and acts as an advisor in the healthcare sector. It offers search functions for doctors, hospitals and care facilities, as well as an evaluation portal. In contrast to other review portals, the “Weisse Liste” is completely free of advertising, paid entries by doctors are not possible and registration protects against manipulation.
The white list aims to make differences in quality in patient care transparent. Patients and relatives are given targeted support in the search for and selection of suitable care services. The online portal currently lists around 200,000 doctors and dentists, 2,000 hospitals and 24,000 nursing homes and nursing services.
We want to enable patients to make informed choices. We create transparency about the quality of healthcare providers and thus promote competition for quality.
The white list in the test
All of this sounds very good in theory: an independent, non-manipulable search portal for doctors, hospitals and care services, in which you can search for free and easily? But how does the practice look?
The page is clear. In the header the title “White List – Signposts in Health Care” . It’s short and sweet and you know exactly what it’s about. The color scheme is calm: white, light gray, light blue and orange for the search fields. I find the image of the man who is supposed to represent the “trust-arousing medic” a bit disturbing: early thirties (too young), sagging shoulders, a somewhat confused look and a three-day beard. I find it a little unsuitable for an online portal that looks serious and also wants to address older people.
The three buttons are clean and clear: “Find a doctor”, “Find a hospital”, “Find a care provider”. Less is more, we already know that from google. I think that’s good!
The doctor search
When you click on the search field, a new page opens with two input fields: and City or zip code. I enter: “Ophthalmologist”. A selection menu opens that changes my unscientific name “ophthalmologist” to “ophthalmology (ophthalmologist)”.
I enter my postcode and again I get a selection: my place of residence and suburbs. Very detailed! Now click on the “Find a doctor” button and I will get a list of 20 doctors for the search query.
After clicking on the confirmation link in my e-mail inbox I land back on the entry page for the search for a doctor, but now under the name of my health insurance company. I find that confusing!
Now I have to log in again with a username and password and can finally search for doctors and rate in four categories:
- Practice and staff
- Doctor communication
- Overall impression
There are several possible answers – you can choose one of them.
The survey results of all participants are compiled anonymously and scientifically verified. If there are five ratings for a doctor, they will be published in the doctor search.
Overall, I find the doctor search to be clear and simple. The doctor review registration process will surely put some users off as it requires entering personal insurance numbers. My parents wouldn’t be ready for that. I did it to rate the review portal, but I’m not entirely comfortable with it either.
The questionnaire on the doctor’s rating deals with all important points, but I have not yet been able to read a doctor’s rating that is publicly available. Most doctors have an average of two ratings. It will certainly take some time before users can get an idea of the treatment quality of the doctors they are looking for based on reviews.
I’m curious to see how the White List will develop. For the sake of completeness, the two other search options should be mentioned: the hospital search and the search for care providers.
The hospital search provides comprehensive information that can be decisive when choosing a hospital. For example, how many patients a doctor has to look after on average. Or what experience the hospital has with certain operations. The page also shows how satisfied the patients were. The user can compare different hospitals in his area.
Compare care services
The White List portal also helps with the selection of a nursing service. People in need of care and their relatives can compare services and prices online. Certainly a good thing if you suddenly have to rely on a nursing service. Here you get initial orientation and immediately find the right provider for your own postcode area from a range of around 13,000 care services throughout Germany.
Still very positive: The online portal Weisse Liste is financed by project funds from the Bertelsmann Foundation . It was awarded the seal of approval of the independent quality initiative Health on the Net Foundation , which advocates reliable medical information on the Internet.
* All screenshots are taken from the online portal Weisse Liste – Guide to Healthcare.
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