Requirements for a National Health Portal from the Perspective of Family Physicians – Results of a Focus Group

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0262-0266

german translation / full article

Michael Jansky, Philipp Stachwitz, Julian Wangler

Keywords: focus group group discussion health communication healthcare websites physician-patient relationship qualitative content analysis

BackgroundThe German Ministry of Health is currently planning to set up a national health portal which is intended to act as a well-known, reputable and reliable source for online research on health and illness issues. Moreover, it is intended that this portal should support physicians in their information and counseling activities. In order to achieve this goal, it is crucial to capture and understand the standpoints and needs of physicians and to incorporate such data into the portal’s development process. Methods In November 2019, a focus group of eleven family physicians along with a representative of the health innovation hub (Federal Ministry of Health) discussed possible applications and the utilization of a national health portal for the primary care setting.ResultsIn line with their task as primary care providers, family practitioners expect from a national health portal to help patients orientating themselves within the structure of the health care system, to prevent the emergence of unfounded health fears, and to help stabilizing care settings in the longer term. In addition, an optimization of the doctor-patient communication is proposed by using such a portal. A sub-level of the portal especially for doctors is considered useful. In addition, the physicians pose a series of critical questions with regard to the basic orientation of a national health portal. These questions concern unique selling points, the involvement of professional and scientific societies and the visibility of the portal to be created.ConclusionsWith regard to primary care, it will be important to design the portal in such a way that evidence-based, guideline-compliant and well-understandable information is presented in a symptom-oriented manner. Moreover, it is crucial to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and support the long-term stability of patients. Keywords healthcare websites; physician-patient relationship; health communication; focus group; group discussion; qualitative content analysis

related files


(State: 10.06.2020)

Latest Issue 6/2020

In Focus

  • Exit Strategy: How the United Kingdom Would Like to Emerge from the Corona Crisis
  • We Want to Improve the Medical Education – Postgraduate Training
  • National Health Portal