This supplementary information is presented as submitted by the corresponding author. It has not been copy-edited by NTvG.
To give insight in the use of the public website of the Dutch College of GPs Thuisarts.nl.
In 2011 the Dutch College of GPs launched a public website with information about health and diseases, called Thuisarts.nl (GP@home). This website aims to guide patients in the labyrinth of health-related information at the internet, and to support GPs. In 2013 an app version of the website was published. This article describes the first 2,5 years of this website.
We gathered data from several sources: a member consultation among GPs (June 2013), number of visitors via Google Analytics and questionnaires among users by a survey on ICT and self-reliance (n=25) and the consumers panel Health Care of Nivel (n=2.846).
90% of all GPs use Thuisarts.nl in their daily practice. 73% use Thuisarts.nl during the consultation for informing their patients; 32% uses it daily, 31% several times per week, 24% some times per month and 13% seldom or never. GPs gave over 800 suggestions for improvement, like:
More/new and up-to-date topics (55x), more illustrations and films (38x), a better search function (28x), easier print (24x) and more PR and marketing among the public and GPs (22x).
The average number of visitors is 60.000 per day. In the first half of 2014 6,2 million unique visitors attended the website in 10 million visits and 18,9 million page views. On average they attended 1,89 page in 1 minute and 22 seconds. 43% of the visitors uses a desktop/laptop, 37% mobile en 20% a tablet or smartphone. Since the launch of the app in December 2013, the app has been downloaded over 40.000 times. The most visited topics were: cystitis (409.000 visits), vaginal discharge (286.000) and the flu-check (237.000).
There are no data yet about the effect of attending Thuisarts.nl at the medical consumption and the number of patients that attend the GP. We have limited figures about the use, appreciation and effect of Thuisarts.nl from a small-scale survey among 25 patients. Two third of them say that they feel better informed and are satisfied about the quality of the information. About half of them indicate that Thuisarts.nl contributed to their self-reliance.
The experiences in the first 2,5 years show that the website meets the needs and is highly appreciated by as well GPs as patients. There are plans for innovation and expansion with short films, illustrations and information of other reliable organisations, like medical specialists. Also the number of patient decision aids (at this moment 17) will be expanded.