Health care has become very complicated. Lately, many patients are spending more of their own money to cover medical costs and less time receiving the care they need. As a result, more than one-third of U.S. consumers use the internet as a health resource to diagnose and learn more about health conditions. Major challenges include understanding medical costs and conditions, finding the right doctor or hospital, and accessing the appropriate avenues of help.
The internet is useful but it can be difficult to determine which websites are the most reliable. Our goal is to help consumers find only the most useful information available online for their healthcare needs.
At HealthWeb Navigator (HWN), we evaluate healthcare websites, allowing users to see which resources provide consumer-friendly and up-to-date information. HWN resembles a guidebook that collects the most favorable and least favorable sites to visit on the web.
Our staff continuously searches the internet to find healthcare websites that consumers frequent most often. Our external review panel then evaluates these websites. These unpaid volunteers have backgrounds in healthcare, business, education, consumerism, and patient advocacy.
All websites included on HWN are scored by several reviewers in terms of content, readability, usability, and design. Based on this evaluation, each website is assigned a final rating of one to five stars.
Our search for new websites is an ongoing endeavor, and websites listed on HWN are constantly evaluated for content and maintenance of quality. Each listed website includes a brief description, a grade with reviewer comments, and a hyperlink to the website itself.
HWN is a free, nonprofit service funded by grants, donations, and significant effort from volunteers. Our goal is to help consumers become more informed about health care. However, we claim no responsibility for any website’s content, including medical advice. You should discuss all medical concerns with your healthcare provider.
Health Web Navigator (HWN) was organized in 2014 by Dr. Mark Kelley, while he was an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. HWN is a service of NeedyMeds, a longstanding and successful non-profit consumer health website.
NeedyMeds was started in 1997 by Dr. Richard Sagall and Ms. Libby Overly. This website provides information to help people pay for medications and other healthcare costs. The website has over 10,000 visits daily and provides information on many thousands of programs.
Mark A. Kelley, MD an internist and pulmonary specialist, Dr. Kelley is a faculty member at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Business School. Educated at Harvard, he has been a physician leader at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia and the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan. He has had extensive experience in patient care, both as a clinician and the leader of physician practices. Dr. Kelley has also worked as a journalist in newspaper, radio and television. He has won an Emmy for television documentary production.
Richard Sagall, M.D., practiced family medicine and occupational medicine for 25 years in Bangor, ME and Philadelphia, PA before deciding to work full time for NeedyMeds. He, along with Libby Overly, a medical social worker, started NeedyMeds in 1997 as a source of information on pharmaceutical patient assistance program. Dr. Sagall has written articles for many magazines and publishes Pediatrics for Parents, a children’s health newsletter.
Nathan Blake , has taught multiple writing courses at Virginia Tech, his alma mater, for four years before joining HealthWeb Navigator in 2016 as a researcher and editor. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and has published a chapbook of short stories through Winged City Press.
The Advisory Committee provides guidance and advice to HWN’s staff. These volunteers have expertise in consumer advocacy, health care delivery, education and quality.
Joan Doyle RN, MSN, MBA, nurse executive and educator; Executive Director, Penn Home Care and Hospice Services, University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Robert Huckman, PhD, health economist and educator; the Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the faculty chair of its Health Care Initiative.
Christiana Iyasere, MD, MBA, practicing internist and educator; Associate Medical Director, Massachusetts General Innovation Support Center.
Martha Marsh, MBA, health care executive; former CEO Stanford Hospital and Clinics.
Michele Rhee, MBA, MPH, health care consumer advocate with leadership experience in for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Frederick Southwick, MD, practicing internist and educator; Professor of Medicine, University of Florida School of Medicine, health quality leader and advocate; author of ‘Fixing Health Care’.
Websites listed on HWN have been reviewed by both HWN staff and volunteers. The reviewers come from a variety of professional backgrounds: health care, education, and business. Most have also had personal experience as patients and/or caregivers. Reviewers may not evaluate a website with which they have any proprietary or editorial connection.
Some of our featured reviewers are:
Celeste Barker DNP, FNP-C is a board certified family nurse practitioner with experience in acute care, family practice, pediatrics, and telemedicine. She has a post-doctorate certificate in nursing education with an emphasis in online delivery. Celeste believes in providing patients with trusted and easy-to-understand online education in order to empower them to become a partner in their health care decisions.
Danielle R. Osmelak, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a medical speech-language pathologist and a faculty member at Eastern Illinois University. Danielle’s clinical interests include dysphagia, neurogenic cognitive-linguistic disorders, and motor-speech disorders.
Laurel Philibin, RN, MS, CCRC, has 32 years of nursing experience in general medicine and surgery, cardiac surgery, education, research, and legal nurse consulting. She is a certified Clinical Research Coordinator and has a master’s degree in nursing education.
The contents and opinions on HealthWeb Navigator are for informational purposes only. This site and its contents are not meant to replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should contact your healthcare professional for advice on your medical diagnoses, conditions, testing or treatment.
HealthWeb Navigator or NeedyMeds does not recommend or endorse any specific diagnostic tests, diagnoses, treatments, opinions, products, physicians or other healthcare professional mentioned on this site or on any of the sites reviewed.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency or are concerned you may be experiencing a medical emergency you should call 911 immediately.
HealthWeb Navigator’s goal is to provide fair, unbiased and reasonable reviews of health-related websites. Our professional volunteer reviewers receive no compensation for their time spent reviewing websites. We strive to avoid conflicts of interests with the following policy:
1. No reviewer or his/her immediate family (spouse, children, step-children or other relative or partner living in the same household) may have a financial interest, investment position or ownership (partial or entire) in any website or parent company of the website s/he reviews.
2. No reviewer or his/her immediate family may have a compensation arrangement, including receiving grants, with any website or parent company of the website s/he is reviewing.
3. No reviewer or his/her immediate family may be a contributor of information, serve as a writer or reviewer, or have any other relationship with any website s/he is reviewing.