Technology for transparency: The case of the web-based Dutch national health portal

Hans Cornelis Ossebaard, Julia E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen, E.R. Seydel

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
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    Against a backdrop of New Public Management and healthcare system reform the Dutch Ministry of Health commissioned the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to develop, host and manage an online public national health and care portal. The portal aims to facilitate consumer decision-making behavior in health and healthcare and to contribute to transparency in order to improve the quality of care and the general functioning of the health markets. This article describes the policy context and uses a multi-methods approach to evaluate the extent to which the portal, as an instrument of health policy, is meeting its original objectives. Four qualitative and quantitative methods of user data collection - online survey, market monitoring, web analytics, and direct user feedback - are used to estimate the impact of the portal with regard to user behavior and online health information needs over time. We find that the portal reaches a fair share of the Dutch health information market in quantitative and qualitative terms. However, while its exact contribution to the functioning of the health markets in terms of transparency remains undecided, it seems plausible that the portal’s impact on choice behavior, choice awareness and empowerment is rather small
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8
    Pages (from-to)-
    Number of pages27
    JournalPolicy & internet
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • METIS-287237
    • IR-80946


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