Sixty per cent of Spaniards look for health-related information online, but only one third of themtrust their search results. This figure is in stark contrast with the level of trust that is placed on thepersonal advice provided by health professionals, about 92%. To address this demand for reliableonline information, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the BBVA Foundation have created PortalCLÍNIC.
During the website’s presentation, BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González said that, in order to counteract the risk posed by the mass dissemination of purported alternatives toevidence-based medicine, “the strategy needs to leverage, in a virtuous feedback cycle, the possibilities of the digital space and the internet, and the expertise of a community of world-classprofessionals and leading institutions, that score high in two critical aspects of reliance: ‘trust’ –trusting that the advice we receive is truly the best for our interests, and ‘confidence’ in theknowledge and skills of the person providing the advice.”
According to BBVA’s Chairman, in PortalCLÍNIC, “these two requirements are met, thanks to the involvement of one the best clinical institutions, with its community of top-level professionals and culture of innovation and cutting edge solutions.”
When patients are well informed their level of anxiety drops, the psychological impact of their pathologies is minimized"
Josep María Campistol, General Manager of Hospital Clínic, said that “patients and their relatives look for information online. Our duty is to help them address their worries with reliable and high-quality information, helping them play an active role in taking care of their own health.”
Dr. Campistol also explained how, when patients are well informed “their level of anxiety drops, the psychological impact of their pathologies is minimized, they adopt healthy habits and are more likely to comply with treatment, and this helps improve health results.”.
The website is divided into three large blocks: Illnesses, Tests and process and “Take care of your Health”, a section focusing on prevention.
Over 200 professionals of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona have helped develop the contentsposted on the website. The content has been validated both by a scientific committee and bypatients and relatives. This final step has been essential to ensure that they are understandable,as half of the people that search for health-related information online say they have a hard timeunderstanding the information they find.
Information for patients and professionals
The project starts out with over 60 articles that will be expanded and enriched on an ongoing basis. The information will be available in three languages: Spanish, Catalan and English.
During this first stage, the articles focus on severe illnesses, such as heart failure, ischemic stroke or lung cancer; high prevalence chronic illnesses like high blood pressure or diabetes; disorders linked to age groups, such as autism in children, or macular degeneration linked to age; as well as gender-related ailments, such as osteoporosis and erectile dysfunction. There is also information on conditions that have a great impact on quality of life, such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome or urinary incontinence.
The articles include short audios and videos, as well as infographics to help emphasize and summarize key messages. Most of the articles include an explanatory video featuring a medical professional and another one featuring patients sharing their first-hand experiences. This aims to reduce uncertainty among new patients through empathy.
Accessing the information is simple, quick and user-friendly, and the content adapts to any electronic device. The PortalCLÍNIC website meets AA accessibility certificate requirements, for people suffering from visual impairments or hearing loss.
The portal already boasts some interactive features, such as the possibility of subscribing to receive alerts whenever the information on a specific topic is updated. Its range of functionalities will be expanded in the future, to include features such as online chats with Clinic professionals who will answer to questions from users.