Now dentists can also be rated online



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Online doctor evaluation now also possible for dentists

More and more legally insured people use the offer to rate their general practitioners and specialists online on the Internet. As an additional offer, dentists can now also be graded. This was announced by the doctor rating portal of the white list and the portals of Barmer GEK, AOK and Techniker Krankenkasse.

Special evaluation questions from dentists
Since the Techniker Krankenkasse joined, around 38 million patients have been able to use the white list rating portals, AOK health insurance companies and Barmer GEK to rate their visit to their GP or specialist. To expand the range, dentists can now also be graded. However, fewer evaluation criteria flow into this because the initiators believe that dentistry should be viewed in a more differentiated manner. The reason: Many people are afraid of treatments at the dentist. The subjective impression due to serious interventions in combination with fears and financial worries could be clouded.

The visit to the dentist differs in some respects from a visit to a specialist or family doctor. Many people avoid dental therapy out of fear and only go to the dentist when the tooth or jaw pain has exceeded the tolerable level. Others are concerned about increased costs because dentures and some therapies are either non-refundable or a high deductible is due. The speaker for quality and transparency in health care at the Federal Consumer Association, Dr. Ilona Köster-Steinebach that “the relationship with the dentist is determined by a multitude of factors. Social and financial aspects also play a role. "

High demand for recommendations
Finding the "right dentist" who cares for his patients in an understanding manner and has a good deal with anxious patients, this demand seems to be very high. For example, Köster-Steinebach reports that more than a third of inquiries made to the Independent Patient Counseling Service in 2010 related to information and feedback on dental treatments. According to this, there is a high need for the experience of others that the patient can fall back on.

The deputy chairman of the board of BARMER GEK Dr. Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker explained that the special aspects of dentist therapy were echoed in the portals' questionnaires. "For the first time, the evaluation is linked to a specific treatment situation and a specific dentist and not queried in the abstract," says Schlenker.

40 questions about doctor and practice
The online catalog includes 40 questions from the areas of "practice and personnel", "communication of the doctor", "treatment" and "overall impression". For example, users can rate how they felt about the interior, how friendly the medical assistants were, and whether they felt “in good hands”. The fear patient factor plays a special role among dentists. For example, the insured is asked whether employees could have a calming effect on the patient and whether financial aspects were dealt with discretely. It is also important to ask whether the dentist treating the patient adequately informed the patient about cash benefits and additional financing. However, as before with general practitioners and specialists, assessors cannot enter an independently written text in the dental practice. This was deliberately avoided. The evaluation algorithm and the questionnaire were developed by experts from health insurance companies, researchers, representatives of patient initiatives and dentists.

Not all of the 40 questions need to be answered. However, in order for the rating given to be included in the overall rating, at least 10 answered questions are necessary. If at least ten patients rated the practice, an average rating is then calculated. If a doctor feels that the assessment is unfair, he can raise an "objection". Then it is deleted. However, seekers are informed that the evaluation is withheld due to the doctor's objection.

Medical profession welcomes expansion
When the first doctor rating portals went online in 2011, the medical profession criticized the system as being half-baked and was afraid of inappropriate reviews by dissatisfied patients. The Bundeszahnärztekammer (Federal Chamber of Dentists) explained that the Internet doctor search "strengthens the role of the enlightened patient". However, the "individual relationship of trust" between doctor and patient is "still the most important and ultimately decisive relationship". So-called "soft factors" of the portals can offer a first approach to finding a doctor. "Ultimately, however, these are not the decisive parameters," as Professor Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the Federal Dental Association emphasized.

The doctor navigator is operated by the health insurance companies AOK, Barmer GEK, Techniker Krankenkasse, the Bertelsmann Foundation and individual federal associations of patient and consumer organizations. Around 38 million statutory health insurers from the above-mentioned health insurers can take part in the online assessment. However, all patients have access to the databases. Doctors have the opportunity to present their practice in detail with pictures.

The addresses of the doctor rating portals:
"
White list "of the Bertelsmann Foundation: www.weisse-liste.de/arzt
Barmer GEK doctor navigator: arztnavi-barmer-gek.de
Medical guide of the Techniker Krankenkasse: www.tk.de/aerztefuehrer
AOK doctor navigator: www.aok-arztnavi.de

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Image: Claudia Heck / pixelio.de

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